Judge Rejects Defense’s Appeal to Move Jeremy Christian’s Murder Trial Out of Portland

The defense can try to move the case again if it becomes apparent during jury selection that Christian cannot receive a fair trial.

Jeremy Joseph Christian squares off with left-wing protesters at an April 29 “free speech” march in Southeast Portland. (Joe Riedl)

Multnomah County's Chief Criminal Judge Cheryl Albrecht denied a motion to move the murder and hate crime trial for Jeremy Christian, the accused killer in the 2017 MAX stabbings, out of Portland.

In her order denying the motion for a change of venue, Albrecht says the defense has not sufficiently showed that the defendant, Jeremy Christian, cannot receive a fair trial in Multnomah County.

Her ruling leaves open the possibility that the defense can try again if jury selection provides more evidence that Christian cannot receive a fair trial in this jurisdiction.

"The court agrees with the State's approach to begin voir dire in this case and then determine based on that process whether there exists 'so great a prejudice that the defendant cannot obtain a fair and impartial trial,'" Albrecht wrote in her order.

Christian is accused of fatally stabbing two men and severely injuring a third man on a MAX train in May 2017. He has been charged with murder, attempted murder,  unlawful use of a weapon, assault, menacing and intimidation, Oregon's hate crime charge.

Criminal cases normally take place in the courthouses in the same jurisdiction where the crime occurred, but in extraordinary circumstances they can be moved if external factors make it impossible for a defendant to receive a fair trial.

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