An Oregon man was convicted of killing two men who stepped in to stop his racist tirade against two Black women showed no remorse as he listened to the jury’s verdict.
According to the Associated Press, Jeremy Christian was found guilty of murdering Taliesin Namkai-Meche and Ricky Best in May 2017. The two good samaritans were fatally stabbed aboard a Portland train while attempting to thwart Christian from targeting two Black passengers.
TomiRene, a woman who rides the Max regularly, is leaving flowers at the train platform in the Hollywood Dist. now that the unanimous guilty verdict has come down for Jeremy Christian. This is where the 2017 attack occurred leaving 2 dead. #koin6news #MAX #Attack #PDX #Portland pic.twitter.com/ae4Usuih0f
— Jennifer Dowling (@JenDowlingKoin6) February 22, 2020
In addition to several other charges, the Portland native was also convicted of attempted murder for stabbing Micah Fletcher who fortunately survived his injuries. Prosecutors also allege that the night before the tragic incident he assaulted another Black woman aboard a MAX train.
In total, Christian was convicted on 12 counts and now faces life in prison.
“There’s no way I can explain what happened,” he told responding officers on the day of his arrest. “Except both of those people would be alive if they had kept their hands to themselves. Or got off the train or allowed me to have my free speech.”
"Jeremy Christian tried to profit from MAX stabbings by selling murder memorabilia, DA says"https://t.co/9ECQ0hT51W
— Mark Pitcavage (@egavactip) February 26, 2020
Investigators say that on May 26, 2017, Christian – who is reportedly affiliated with the far-right group Patriot Prayer and has been seen giving the Nazi salute – boarded a crowded commuter train and then began to shout racist and Islamophobic slurs at two women. Both of his targets were Black and one of them who is a Somali immigrant was wearing a headscarf at the time.
After he made a slicing motion across his neck and threatened decapitation, that’s when Namkai-Meche began attempted to film his outburst. Unfortunately, Christian was able to grab his cellphone and smashed it on the floor. When Fletcher tried to intervene, Christian shoved him.
To everyone’s horror, moments later, Christian pulled out a folding knife and in a matter of seconds stabbed both men 11 times. He also randomly began stabbing a third passenger, who was just an innocent bystander.
All three stabbing victims were white and the Black victims, Destinee Magnum and Walio Mohamed were emotional as they gave testimony from the stand. Prosecutors were also able to play video from the attack despite Christian’s violent attempts to stop it from being captured.
“I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon,” Magnum said through tears. “So, like, I don’t feel like I should go somewhere else, I don’t feel like I have to go back to where I came from because I’m born here. It just made me feel like, ‘Why?’ There’s no reason.”
Christian plead not guilty by reason of mental illness and showed no emotion during the trial or the verdict hearing.