Suspect in MAX stabbings says he was on autopilot

first_imgPORTLAND — A man charged with the stabbing deaths of two commuters on a Portland light-rail train was on “autopilot” and wasn’t fully aware of his actions until he heard passengers screaming that he was killing people, according to a psychological evaluation unsealed Friday.The evaluation ordered by Jeremy Christian’s attorneys was submitted to the court last month as part of an unsuccessful bid to secure his release on bail. Christian, 35, has pleaded not guilty and is in custody awaiting trial.At a hearing last month, Portland homicide detective Michele Michaels testified that Christian inflicted 11 stab wounds in 11 seconds after passengers confronted him about anti-Muslim comments directed at two teenage girls. Passengers Taliesin Namkai-Meche, 23, and Rick Best were stabbed to death.A third man, Micah Fletcher, was slashed in the throat but survived.Whether Christian was animated by racial bias and was harassing the girls or not before the attack could be pivotal questions in the case.The defense evaluation quotes Christian as saying the two girls were 15 feet away and he didn’t speak to them or direct his comments at them.last_img

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