PORTLAND, Oregon – Jeremy Joseph Christian shouted the name of a Portland train stabbing victim at the end of a brief court appearance Wednesday, as the victim watched from just feet away.
Christian, wearing a white jail uniform and handcuffs, shouted at the end of an 85-second appearance at a Multnomah County courtroom a day after a grand jury indicted him on 15 counts relating to the May 26 stabbings and another incident.
“Not guilty of anything but defending myself from violent aggression by Micah Fletcher!” Christian shouted from behind a glass wall in the courtroom as two officers led him toward an exit.
As he shouted, Christian appeared to glance in the direction of Fletcher, the lone survivor among three men whom police said Christian stabbed on a Portland MAX train while the men were defending two teenage girls.
Fletcher, watching from a bench with others, rose shortly after Christian was led away. A sheriff’s deputy put his hand on Fletcher’s back, and the two men walked outside the courtroom together.
Fletcher, with a long, sutured knife wound visible on his neck, didn’t want to speak to reporters afterward, a deputy said. Fletcher had also attended Christian’s previous court appearance shortly after he was released from a hospital.
Christian’s next court appearance will be July 18, said a judge at Wednesday’s proceeding. He’s being held without opportunity for bail.
Christian’s latest outburst comes eight days after his initial court appearance, where he also yelled.
“Get out if you don’t like free speech!” he said then, along with, “You call it terrorism. I call it patriotism. You hear me? Die.”
The train attack
Christian, 35, faces state charges of aggravated murder (two counts), attempted murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, second-degree intimidation (three counts), menacing (two counts) and unlawful use of a weapon (five counts).
Four charges are connected with an unspecified incident the day before the May 26 stabbings, the indictment said.
After boarding a MAX light-rail train on May 26, Christian went on a tirade directed at two African-American teenagers, one who was wearing a traditional Muslim hijab, according to witnesses and a police affidavit.
One of the girls, 16-year-old Destinee Mangum, told KPTV Christian “told us to go back to Saudi Arabia and told us we shouldn’t be here.”
Christian said “Get the f*** out,” “Pay taxes,” “Go home, we need American here,” “I don’t care if you are ISIS,” and “F*** Saudi Arabia,” police said in a probable cause affidavit.
Another man, Shawn Forde, also defended the girls and tried to deescalate the situation, police said. Two of the charges against Christian – unlawful use of a weapon and menacing – relate to his alleged interaction with Forde, court documents show.
Christian said, at his May 30 court appearance, he was transient and “does not know the last time he had a permanent address.” Court documents from previous years show he lived with his parents.