PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) – Anyone looking for signs of remorse from the man witnesses say brutally slashed the throats of three men after spewing racist slurs at two girls on a commuter train would have been disappointed at a hearing on Tuesday.
“Remember, there are no heroes in this case,” Jeremy Christian intoned in a booming voice as he shuffled past one of his victims and her supporters.
The attack in which Christian is a suspect left two men dead and one in critical care. All three were widely hailed as heroes for stepping up to protect the teenage girls, one of whom was wearing a hijab.
A Multnomah County jury returned a 15-count indictment following the May 26 attack, including charges of aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder, assault, unlawful use of a weapon, intimidation and menacing.
Police are also investigating a second incident which happened the day before the stabbings. The charges of menacing stem from that altercation, where he is suspected of attacking Demetria Hester at a station for the same commuter train.
Tuesday’s hearing at the Multnomah County Courthouse was brief. Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Albrecht set Christian’s bail hearing for Oct. 20. Christian, 35, conferred briefly with his lawyer before walking out, shackled at the hands and ankles and surrounded by half a dozen sheriff’s deputies.
His outburst came as he passed the rows of the gallery reserved for victims and their families.
One person seated in those rows was Pastor E.D. Mondaine Jr., the vice president for the Portland chapter of the NAACP. Mondaine also runs the north Portland soul food restaurant Poshines. He told reporters after the hearing that he was there to support Hester – his sous chef – who sat in the row behind him during the hearing.
After the hearing, Hester told reporters that during the May 25 attack, one day before the murders, Christian was yelling racial slurs “at me, and any other people of color present.” She said Christian threw a plastic bottle at her and she sprayed him with Mace.
Mondaine said a better police response to that incident might have prevented the next day’s attack.
“Because of what was allowed, what didn’t happen to intervene,” Mondaine said. “If there had been arrests made, the real big chance of it not happening is there.”