The Big Picture
Jeremy Christian is accused of killing two people and injuring a third in a stabbing attack on a MAX light rail train in Portland in May 2017.
Witnesses have testified that Christian was shouting racist comments while two black teenage girls — Walia Mohamed and Destinee Mangum — were nearby on the train. Mohamed is Muslim and was wearing a hijab.
Christian faces intimidation charges in regards to the two girls. He’s also accused of harassing and assaulting Demetria Hester, an African American woman, on another MAX train the day prior.
He faces a dozen felony and misdemeanor charges, including multiple counts of first-degree murder and intimidation.
The Highlights (What Happened Friday)
UPDATE (Feb. 14, 12:35 p.m. PT) — The prosecution brought Dr. Alan Newman, a psychiatrist at California Pacific Medical Center, to the stand Friday as its last rebuttal witness.
Newman said that after reviewing reports and documents and evaluating Christian in person, he diagnosed Christian with antisocial personality disorder.
“The most common [trait] is that they go against the expectations of society and not in sort of a principled way often as much as a chaotic way,” Newman said of people with antisocial personality disorder.
Newman said people with the personality disorder usually have a pattern of failing to conform to societal norms, repeated encounters with law enforcement, impulsiveness and a disregard for the safety of themselves or others, among other traits.
He also found that Christian does not have autism spectrum disorder, contradicting testimony from psychologists called by the defense earlier this week.
“As the DSM [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders] defines it, he is not on the autism spectrum,” Newman said of Christian.
One of the criteria for autism spectrum disorder is the inability to have back-and-forth conversations and a reluctance to share about one’s interests or emotions.
“I felt that he was very much the opposite of that,” Newman said. “We were able to have a back-and-forth conversation for the entire time. ... He was all about sharing his interests.”
Another criteria doctors use to diagnose autism spectrum disorder is having highly restricted and fixed interests. Some of the psychologists the defense called noted Christian’s deep interest in comic books.
“Some of the reports mentioned his interest in comics as obsessive or even hoarding,” Newman said. “It wasn’t any different than people that I’d meet at a comic book convention.”
He also noted that Christian had a broad number of interests he talked about, including science fiction, politics and philosophy.
“The only other psychiatric diagnosis was a history of alcohol misuse,” Newman said. He had also diagnosed Christian with alcohol use disorder.
“It simply describes people with a pattern of misusing alcohol,” Newman said of the diagnosis. “What is clear in his history is that he drinks, and he drinks regularly.”
What Happens Next
The prosecution is set to finish its rebuttal Friday.
Closing arguments are expected to begin Wednesday.