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MAX murder suspect Jeremy Christian indicted on 15 counts

Jeremy Christian arraigned on murder charges - KATU photo

Jeremy Christian, the man accused of killing two men and stabbing another aboard a MAX train last month, has been indicted on 15 counts.

Christian is facing two counts of aggravated murder, which could result in the death penalty if he's convicted.

He's also facing one count of attempt to commit murder, one count of assault in the first degree, five counts of unlawful use of weapon, three counts of intimidation, two counts of menacing and one count of assault in the second degree.

Four charges in the 15-count indictment are from an incident that happened a day before the killings. Christian had a confrontation with a woman at a train station and hit her in the face with a bottle before she pepper-sprayed him, Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson said.

The attack happened May 26, the first day of Ramadan, the holiest time of the year for Muslims. Authorities say Christian started verbally abusing two young women, including one wearing a hijab. Three other men on the train intervened before police say Christian attacked them, killing two and wounding one.

Taliesin Myrddin Kamkai Meche and Ricky Best passed away from their injuries. Micah Fletcher, 21, was injured but is expected to be OK.

Christian has yet to enter a plea and remains in a downtown Portland jail. He made a brief but chaotic initial court appearance last week.

"Free speech or die! You've got no safe place," he shouted when entering the courtroom May 30. As the hearing wrapped up, he said, among other things: "You call it terrorism; I call it patriotism!"

Supporters of the victims erupted in anger as they listened to the livestream of his outbursts outside the small courtroom that was filled beyond capacity. A brawl nearly ensued when the fired-up crowd confronted a man who had come to the courthouse to support Christian.

Court officials Tuesday announced steps to ensure there is no repeat of the commotion, including a ban on livestream video while Christian is in the courtroom.

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