MAX stabbing suspect removed from courtroom for outburst against victim

The man charged with a deadly 2017 MAX attack shouted at one of his alleged victims in court.

Posted: Apr 26, 2019 11:33 AM
Updated: Apr 26, 2019 11:40 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW) -- The man charged with a deadly 2017 MAX attack shouted at one of his alleged victims in court. Deputies quickly removed Jeremy Christian from the pre-trial hearing Friday morning.

“Liar, liar!” Christian yelled.

The outburst occurred as the judge heard from witness Demetria Hester. The Portland woman, who is African-American, said she was assaulted by Christian the day before he allegedly stabbed three people while riding the MAX, killing two of them.

During Friday’s hearing, Hester was asking the judge to deny a request by the defense team to delay the trial, scheduled for June.

“He’s just expressing himself -- that’s him. An angry, white racist,” said Hester after the hearing.

The judge postponed arguments until next Friday on whether Christian’s trial should be delayed.

The defense claims it needs more time to prepare for trial. Additionally, the defense claims proposed legislation on Oregon’s capital punishment scheme could have an impact on any conviction.

“I mean we’ve been enduring this for two years. How much longer do we have to endure this kind of torture in our lives?” asked Hester.

Christian's attorney Greg Scholl said in court documents that his client agrees to waive the right to a speedy trial.

Christian is scheduled for trial in June on aggravated murder charges for the May 26, 2017 attack on the TriMet mass transit line.

Christian is accused of spewing hate speech at two black teenage girls on a MAX train in Portland near the Hollywood train station, and then stabbing three men who stepped in to intervene.

Two of the victims, 53-year-old Ricky John Best and 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, were killed. The third victim, 21-year-old Micah Fletcher, was wounded but survived.

While in jail awaiting trial, Christian has been singled out for violence against other inmates.

Scholl said he needs an extension simply to prepare for the trial, specifically reaching a number of witnesses to the attack.

The possibility of a settlement in the case also requires added negotiations layered on top of preparation for a trial, he said. A settlement hearing is scheduled for May 13.

Potential changes in sentencing for major Measure 11 crimes are now being debated in the state legislature and could affect Christian's fate, Scholl said. This year's session is expected to last into June.

Scholl said prosecutors agree with his latest requests.

A previous request for a change of venue for the trial was denied.

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