Convicted double murderer Jeremy Christian, the 2017 Portland MAX light rail train attacker, said at the beginning of his sentencing hearing on Tuesday he should’ve killed one of the victims giving a statement. He minced no words after she said that she hoped he’d rot in Hell.
“I should’ve killed you, bitch,” he told Demetria Hester (the first person to testify), as officials forced him out of the courtroom.
Christian was convicted last February of murdering Ricky Best, 53, and Taliesin Namkai-Meche, 23, and of trying to kill Micah Fletcher. The defendant was going on an Islamophobic rant at two teenage girls (one of whom was wearing a hijab) when at least two of the male victims intervened.
A professor testifying for the prosecution said at trial that Christian’s views aligned with white supremacy, even though the defendant apparently insisted on Facebook that he wasn’t a racist because he had Vietnamese relatives, including a half-Vietnamese nephew. Instead, Christian described himself as simply “White and a Nationalist for Vinland,” according to The Oregonian.
Best and Namkai-Meche were white. So is Fletcher.
The professor, Pete Simi of Chapman University in Southern California, said it was quite common for white supremacists to dismiss racism claims.
“They will say, ‘I don’t hate anybody. I just love white people,'” Simi said.
Race informed even the sentencing hearing. Christian’s outburst on Tuesday was in response to a statement from Hester, who is Black.
At the sentencing hearing, Hester called Christian a white supremacist and added that the defendant was essentially enabled by the authorities. She said police didn’t believe her on the day Christian attacked her and refused to detain him. Instead, the responding officer asked Hester for her ID and treated her as if she was the assailant because of her race, she said.
“I blame the system for creating and facilitating people like Jeremy,” she said. “And then we the community have to deal with him. Because of this system, our community was ripped and dealt a harsh reality of how white privilege is used and abused.”
Hester wrapped up her statement with some visceral vocabulary. She said that Christian’s mother should’ve “swallowed” him.
“You are a waste of breath, and when you die and go to hell, I hope you rot,” she said.
“See you there, bitch,” said Christian. Things escalated with him saying he wished he would’ve killed her.
Christian delivered his own sentencing statement outside of the courtroom. He continued to maintain the train stabbings were self-defense.
“I do regret that two people died, but I do not regret my actions that led to their deaths, nor was it my explicit intent to murder anyone, and if it had been, Micah Fletcher would most assuredly be dead,” he said. “I would’ve stabbed him more than one time, but I stepped over him when he got off that MAX.”
Christian was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday.
[Screengrab via The Oregonian]
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