Defendant Sentenced To Prison For Life In 2017 Oregon Train Attack

Jun 25, 2020


A man who murdered two people on a commuter train in Portland, Ore., in 2017 has been sentenced to life in prison. Prosecutors showed Jeremy Christian was motivated by white supremacy. Oregon Public Broadcasting's Conrad Wilson reports.

CONRAD WILSON, BYLINE: On May 26, 2017, Jeremy Christian stepped onto a Portland light rail train and began a racist diatribe directed at two black teens, one who was wearing a hijab. Several riders on the train intervened. Christian pushed back, pulled out a knife and, in a matter of seconds, stabbed three men, killing two of them. In February, a jury found Christian guilty of all 12 counts he faced. Now Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Albrecht sentenced Christian to life in prison without the possibility of parole.


CHERYL ALBRECHT: I do believe that one day I am hoping that you are able to accept your responsibility for the grievous loss that you caused...

WILSON: During his sentencing, Christian told the court he didn't regret his actions.


JEREMY CHRISTIAN: I will not accept any guilt. I defended myself according to the law.

WILSON: The judge listened to multiple victim impact statements, including from Demetria Hester. She spoke directly to Christian.


DEMETRIA HESTER: You are a waste of breath. And when you die and go to hell, I hope you rot.

CHRISTIAN: See you there [expletive].

WILSON: Moments later, Christian stood up took off his mask and continued shouting that he should have killed Hester. Then deputies handcuffed and removed him from the courtroom. Christian watched the rest of the proceedings remotely. Other victims called Christian a domestic terrorist. Some spoke of their personal trauma.


MICAH FLETCHER: This is in every aspect of my life...

WILSON: Micah Fletcher was stabbed in the neck.


FLETCHER: ...There is not a room in this world that I could enter without at least scanning it first to decide who the person is that is most likely to hurt me...

WILSON: Judge Albrecht noted the case's culmination amid a remarkable time of reckoning with the nation's racist past and present. She thanked victims for their courage to speak out, to stare down hatefulness and, in some cases, she says, even the courage to forgive. For NPR News, I'm Conrad Wilson in Portland. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.