Portland, OR – A white supremacist was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of two white men in 2017.
Multnomah County Circuit Judge Cheryl Albrecht sentenced 38-year-old Jeremy Christian to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Wednesday.
Albrecht sentenced Christian to two consecutive life sentences: one for the murder of 53-year-old Ricky Best and another for the murder of 23-year-old Taliesin Namkai-Meche.
Christian stabbed Best and Namkai-Meche after the men came to the defense of two girls Christian was harassing on a train in May 2017.
According to prosecutors, Christian boarded the train during the evening commute on May 26, 2017, and began shouting racist, anti-Muslim and xenophobic slurs at the two young black women. One was an immigrant from Somalia and wore a Muslim headscarf.
Witnesses said Christian made a slicing motion across his neck and mentioned decapitating people during his outburst on the train.
Court documents in the case say Namkai-Meche, Best, and a third man, Micah Fletcher, were trying to stop Christian’s ranting and protect the two teenagers when a fight broke out. Best then tried to intervene and all three were stabbed in the neck.
He was arrested a few blocks away.
Namkai-Meche and Best died from the stabbing, Fletcher survived.
Days after the stabbing, photos and video surfaced showing that Christian had recently attended – and spoken at – a rally hosted by a far-right group called Patriot Prayer, whose periodic political events were already causing tension in the city. He was captured on camera making the Nazi salute while wearing an American flag around his neck and holding a baseball bat.
Christian’s defense attorneys Gregory Scholl and Dean Smith argued that Christian had acted in self-defense and felt threatened by Namkai-Meche and Fletcher. An expert witness for the defense testified that Fletcher, in particular, escalated the situation by getting within 6 feet (2 meters) of Christian moments before Christian pulled out his knife.
During his sentencing, victims and their family members were allowed to give impact statements.
When Demetria Hester, a black woman who suffered a serious eye injury after Christian struck her with a half-filled Gatorade bottle, gave her statement Christian responded with rage.
Hester had survived the verbal and physical attack form Christian the day before he killed Namkai-Meche and Best.
‘In my case, the white supremacist got special treatment from the police. He didn’t believe me or the two TriMet supervisors,’ Hester said about a cop who responded to the assault.
‘He refused to detain the assailant and he let him walk away knowing who he was. The officer asked me for my ID and treated me like I was the assailant because of my color.’
Hester then told Christian: ‘When you die and go to hell, I hope you rot.’
Christian was removed from the courtroom as he yelled violent threats Hester: ‘I should have killed you, b***h!’
The outburst came about 30 minutes into the 11am session. Hester was the first of 15 people to read impact statements.
Christian, who was not wearing handcuffs when he violently reacted, was detained by Multnomah County Sheriff’s deputies and removed from the courtroom.
During trial, detective Michelle Michaels read from a transcript of Christian’s comments shortly after he was arrested.
‘There’s no way I can explain what happened,’ he said. ‘Except both of those people would be alive if they´d kept their hands to themselves. Or got off the train or allowed me to have my free speech.’
White Supremacist Senetenced to Life for Double Murder Threatens Black Woman During Sentencing
A white supremacist who murdered two Caucasian men because they were defending two black women in a racist attack on a rush hour commuter train has lashed out at a survivor in court ahead of his sentencing.Jeremy Christian, 38, was removed from the courtroom in Portland, Oregon on Tuesday after he yelled at victim Demetria Hester: 'I should have killed you, b***h!'Posted by Black Main Street on Saturday, June 27, 2020