Man charged in MAX stabbings: 'No heroes in this case'
PORTLAND — The man accused of killing two passengers, including a fomer Ashland resident, and wounding a third on a Portland train returned to court Tuesday for a quick hearing in which he told spectators on his way out: "Remember, there are no heroes in this case."
Jeremy Christian, 35, said nothing else as Multnomah County Judge Cheryl Albrecht scheduled a bail hearing for Oct. 20. He remains in jail.
Christian has pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder, attempted murder, assault, menacing, intimidation and unlawful use of a weapon.
Prosecutors say Christian boarded the light-rail train May 26 and yelled hateful comments at two black teenage girls, one of whom was wearing an Islamic head covering called a hijab.
When the girls moved away, he turned his attention to three men, stabbing each of them in the neck. The men — Taliesin Namkai-Meche, 23, who grew up in Ashland and graduated from Ashland High School, Ricky Best, 53, of Happy Valley and surviving victim Micah Fletcher — have been called heroes for confronting Christian.
Christian disputed the hero narrative at his previous court appearance, yelling that he was defending himself against the "violent aggression" of Fletcher. Prosecutor Ryan Lufkin wrote in affidavit that video shows Fletcher was shoved in the chest by Christian and then pushed back, causing Christian to stumble. Then the stabbings occurred.
Fletcher, 21, was not in the courtroom Tuesday after attending Christian's prior hearings.
Four charges in Christian's indictment stem from a confrontation Christian had with a black woman at a light-rail station a day before the killings. He hit her in the face with a bottle before she pepper-sprayed him, Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson said.
That woman, Demetria Hester, was in the courtroom. She declined interview requests after the hearing.