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Monday, August 3, 2020

Oregon Islamophobe gets life for killing two commuters on a Portland train

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A judge Wednesday sentenced an Islamophobe who fatally stabbed two Portland light-rail train commuters to life in prison — after his surviving victims and their families delivered emotional statements, according to media reports.

Jeremy Christian, 54, killed Taliesin Namkai-Meche, 23, and Ricky Best, 53, after they had confronted him about anti-Muslim comments he’d hurled at two teenage girls, one of whom was wearing a hijab, The Oregonian reported.

A third man, Micah Fletcher, was slashed in the throat but survived the May 26, 2017, attack, which began with Christian launching into a racist, xenophobic tirade on the MAX train, according to the paper.

Ricky Best
Ricky Best

More than a dozen victims and their relatives spoke during a hearing that began Tuesday and continued Wednesday before Multnomah County Circuit Judge Albrecht delivered her sentence.

Fletcher, now 24, described how the attack had turned his life upside down.

He said he suffered from terrifying nightmares. In a recurring dream, he was trapped in a tunnel as it slowly filled with blood until he drowned.

To cope with the trauma, Fletcher said he turned to gin and spent nine months in a drunken stupor. “I have changed a lot from this,” he told the court, according to the paper.

Shawn Forde, a former Marine who Christian had threatened with a knife, called his assailant a “delusional, white supremacist.” Forde had tried to stop Christian from harassing the young girls.

Christian watched his victims and their families’ statements from another room over a live video feed after the judge tossed him from the courtroom Tuesday for a series of outbursts. He told the first victim who spoke that he regretted not killing her when he had the chance, The Oregonian reported.

In a statement to the court, Christian said he was attacked and had acted in self-defense. “Where I’m from, we defend ourselves,” he said, according to the paper. “I do regret that two people died, but I do not regret my actions.”

It’s unclear whether the judge permitted him to return to the courtroom to make the statement or he delivered it via the live feed.

Read More at NYPost

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