by Tuesday at 9:46 pm•
In the eyes of Multnomah County prosecutors, Jeremy Christian knew exactly what he was doing the afternoon of May 26, 2017, when he plunged a 4-inch blade into the necks of three fellow MAX passengers who had stood up against his loud anti-Muslim and racist rant. Christian’s defense attorneys, meanwhile, believe their client was cornered by people trying to stifle his constitutional right to free speech, and acted impulsively in self-defense.
These were the two distinct arguments made before a 14-person jury Tuesday, the first day of what’s expected to be a month-long trial on Christian’s actions surrounding the 2017 stabbings.
Christian, 37, is facing 12 charges for allegedly killing Ricky Best and Taliesin Namkai-Meche and attempting to kill Micah Fletcher, the three strangers who intervened after Christian boarded a MAX train on May 26, held a Book of Mormon above his head, and began shouting about killing Muslims and Christians.
Christian’s charges also include intimidating fellow passengers Walio Mohamed and Destinee Magnum because of their race and perceived religious beliefs. According to witnesses, the two African American teenagers were the primary focus of Christian’s tirade that afternoon. Mohamed was wearing a hijab, a headscarf signifying her Muslim faith, at the time. Christian is also charged with threatening fellow passenger Shawn Forde with a knife after Forde used his body to block Mohamed and Magnum from Christian’s sight.
"You guys ready to smash Portland’s fairytale of a hate crime?”
Christian’s final alleged crime is against Demetria Hester, an African American woman who was allegedly assaulted by Christian on May 25, the day before the fatal MAX encounter, after she confronted him for spouting yet another racist rant on a MAX train.Continue reading »