An Oregon man with a violent criminal history will spend life in prison with no possibility of parole for killing two men who intervened when he went on a racist rant against two black teen girls aboard a crowded TriMet MAX Light Rail train in 2017.
Jeremy Christian, 38, was sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment, 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 slurs at the two teenagers, one of whom was wearing a hijab on May 26, 2017.
Three white men tried to end the outburst and stepped between Christian and the victims.
They were 23-year-old Taliesin Namkai-Meche, Ricky Best, 53, and Micah Fletcher, who was 21 at the time.
Namkai-Meche took out his phone and started to record Christian’s rant, prosecutors said. Christian knocked it out of his hand, and that’s when the train car erupted in violence.
After a brief shoving match, Christian stabbed the men 11 times in 11 seconds, according to authorities, who said the attacks were caught on surveillance and cellphone video.
Both Best and Namkai-Meche died at the scene. Fletcher survived with serious injuries and now has a scar across his neck.
Fletcher testified during the trial that he had been bullied relentlessly in middle school because he has autism – and that he intervened because he knew “what it looks like before somebody hurts someone else,” Oregon Live reported.
Witnesses followed Christian and called police, according to prosecutors. Video shows him walking away from the bloody train car and menacing bystanders with the murder weapon.
When he was arrested, he allegedly repeatedly said that he was glad he stabbed the victims and hoped they would die.
The girls were not physically harmed, according to authorities.
“Don’t think my son died in vain,” Namkai-Meche’s mother, Asha Deliverance, said at his memorial service in 2017, according to The Oregonian. “I promise you, he did not.”
Christian was found guilty of a dozen charges, including two counts of first-degree murder and another count of attempted murder, in February after a monthlong trial.
He was also convicted of assaulting a different African-American woman, Demetria Hester, a day earlier on another MAX train. Prosecutors said he declared he was a “Nazi” and followed her off the train and threatened to kill her.
She fended him off 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 memorandum. He later told police he would have “stabbed that b----” if a conductor hadn’t been on the platform.
Christian also has three prior felony convictions.
In 2002 he was convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping and then, while in custody, for creating a weapon that he planned to use against a black inmate who himself 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 tried to pull a gun out of his waistband.
He was convicted again in October 2011 for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Fox News’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.