An Oregon man with a violent criminal record will spend his life in prison without the possibility of parole for killing two men who intervened when he racistly confronted two black teenage girls aboard a busy TriMet MAX Light Rail train in 2017.
Jeremy Christian, 38, was sentenced to two consecutive life terms, plus another 310 months, with no possibility of release, according to Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill.
Prosecutors said he began shouting racist and anti-Muslim insults at the two teens, one of whom was wearing a hijab on May 26, 2017.
Three white men attempted to end the blast and stood between Christian and the victims.
They were Taliesin Namkai-Meche, 23, Ricky Best, 53, and Micah Fletcher, who was 21 at the time.
Namkai-Meche pulled out his phone and began recording Christian’s complaint, prosecutors said. Christian took it from his hand, and it was then that the train car exploded in violence.
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After a brief confrontation, Christian stabbed the men 11 times in 11 seconds, according to authorities, who said the attacks were captured on surveillance and cell phone video.
Best and Namkai-Meche died on the scene. Fletcher survived with serious injuries and now has a scar on his neck.
Fletcher testified during the trial that he had been relentlessly bullied in high school because he had autism, and that he intervened because he knew “what it looks like before someone hurts someone else,” Oregon Live reported.
Witnesses followed Christian and called the police, according to prosecutors. The video shows him walking away from the bloody train car and threatening passers-by with the murder weapon.
When he was arrested, he allegedly repeatedly said that he was glad he had stabbed the victims and hoped they would die.
The girls suffered no physical damage, according to authorities.
“Don’t think my son died in vain,” Namkai-Meche’s mother Asha Deliverance said at her funeral in 2017, according to The Oregonian. “I promise, he didn’t.”
Christian was convicted of a dozen charges, including two counts of first-degree murder and another count of attempted murder, in February after a month-long trial.
He was also convicted of assaulting a different African American woman, Demetria Hester, a day earlier on another MAX train. Prosecutors said he testified that she was a “Nazi” and followed her out of the train and threatened to kill her.
She rejected him with pepper spray before he threw a plastic bottle full of wine at her face, leaving her with a swollen eye, according to a sentencing memo. She later told police that she would have “stabbed that b —-” if a driver had not been on the platform.
Christian also has three previous felony convictions.
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In 2002, he was convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping, and later, while in custody, for creating a weapon he planned to use against a black inmate who had been convicted of raping and murdering a white woman, according to authorities.
During his 2002 arrest, a Portland police officer shot him in the face when he attempted to pull a pistol from his waist.
He was convicted again in October 2011 of being a criminal in possession of a firearm.
Fox News’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.