PORTLAND, Ore — The murder trial of Jeremy Christian is set to begin this Tuesday in Portland, in what will likely become the most high-profile trial in the city's recent history.
Christian is accused of boarding a crowded MAX train in May 2017 and aiming a racist, hate-filled rant at two black teenage girls, one of whom was wearing a hijab.
He’s then accused of stabbing three men who intervened or stood nearby.
Two of the men, Ricky Best and Taliesin Namkai-Meche, died. The third, Micah Fletcher, was gravely wounded but survived.
Christian faces a long list of charges, including two counts of first-degree murder and one of attempted murder. Ahead of the trial, KGW learned the court has dismissed three counts of unlawful use of weapon charges Christian was facing.
According to the DA's Office, those charges were dropped in favor of focusing on more serious counts Christian is facing.
The process to pick an impartial jury has been lengthy. Hundreds of potential jurors were asked to fill out a 22-page questionnaire, in an effort to parse out jurors with conflicts of interest.
Then, several dozen potential jurors were asked to come to the courthouse, where, in groups of 7, the defense attorneys and prosecutors in the case asked them questions one by one.
It's unknown exactly how many jurors were dismissed.
According to Judge Cheryl Albrecht's clerk, the people selected to serve in the jury were notified Monday.
Because this is a high-profile case, the jurors have been referenced by their juror numbers, not full names. Stacy Heyworth, a former Multnomah County prosecutor who is not affiliated with this case, said it's unusual for a judge to take this path, but it's not unexpected given the media coverage surrounding this trial.
The trial will begin with opening arguments Tuesday morning, and is expected to last 4 weeks.
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