PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Four months after a jury unanimously convicted him of killing 2 people and critically wounding a third on a MAX train 3 years ago, the sentencing of Jeremy Christian began Tuesday.
And it didn’t take long for the convicted killer to be removed from the court.
Only 19 people were in Judge Cheryl Albrecht’s courtroom for the sentencing in an effort to ensure physical distancing is maintained during the proceeding.
As many as 15 people began providing victim impact statements before sentencing is officially imposed on the killer. Those people either took the stand by video or came from a holding area to make their statement on the witness stand.
Impact statements went long and Judge Albrecht ruled the hearing would continue at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
Outburst got Christian tossed
Shortly after 11 a.m., victim impact statements began. The first to take the stand was Demetria Hester, who was very direct.
“You are a waste of breath. When you die and go to hell, I hope you rot,” Hester said.
Before she was done, Christian stood up at the defense table, ripped off his facemask and screamed at her: “I should have killed you!”
He was handcuffed by deputies and immediately led out of the courtroom.
“Mr. Christian was warned that if he acted out in court, he would be removed,” Judge Albrecht said. “He will not be coming back to court.”
Christian was not be in court for the rest of the victim impact statements on Tuesday, but may be allowed back in for allocution and sentencing.
Warning: Graphic Language
Others who provided victim impact statements in the morning session were Zhada Allen, who was on the MAX train that day, and the brother and son of Ricky Best, who died in the attack.
“You tried to bring me down and you still lost,” Allen said. “I not only survived hate speech from a supremacist man but I thrive and I will forever thrive.”
Christian, who killed Taliesin Namkai-Meche and Ricky Best and critically wounded Micah Fletcher on the Green Line as it pulled into the Hollywood Transit Center in the afternoon of May 26, 2017, faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
He pleaded not guilty on 12 charges: two counts of first-degree murder, one count of first-degree attempted murder, one count of first-degree assault, one count of second-degree assault, three counts of second-degree intimidation, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon and two counts of menacing.
The jury that unanimously convicted him on all 12 charges on February 21, 2020 also reached a unanimous conclusion on enhanced factors that Judge Albrecht can use when she imposes his prison sentence.
Those 6 factors are:
- That there is a high probability that the defendant cannot be rehabilitated.
- That the defendant’s crimes were precipitated by his unreasonable racial and religious bias.
- That the defendant demonstrated no remorse for his acts.
- That the defendant’s acts demonstrated his callous disregard for the value of human life.
- That the defendant is likely to commit future acts of violence.
- That defendant was at least 18 years of age at the time the murders were committed.