Accused MAX stabbing ring thief pleads not guilty

George Elwood Tschaggeny admitted that Ricky Best was deceased when he took his belongings

George Tschaggeny tried hiding his face while being arraigned in court Monday, June 5, 2017. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The man accused of stealing the wedding ring off MAX stabbing victim Ricky Best pleaded not guilty on Tuesday morning.

A Multnomah County grand jury has filed a four-count indictment against George Elwood Tschaggeny, 51. He appeared in court on Tuesday morning. His bail had been increased to $100,000.

“…Tschaggeny can be seen attending to Ricky Best at and during his death,” according to court documents. “Tschaggeny can be seen interacting with the body of Ricky Best…[and] is also seen taking backpacks from the MAX train.”

Ricky Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche both died in the attack. Micah Fletcher was wounded in the triple stabbing that was captured on surveillance video. Fletcher has since been released from the hospital.

The suspect in the stabbing, Jeremy Christian, had fled the scene and was eventually taken into custody near Portland Providence Medical Center.

On June 2, Tschaggeny was arrested at a homeless camp in Northeast Portland and the wedding ring belonging to Best was found on Tschaggeny’s pinky finger, according to prosecutors.

Tschaggeny was also found to be in possession of Best’s credit cards, which had been removed from his wallet.

“Tschaggeny admitted that Ricky Best was deceased when he took Ricky Best’s belongings,” according to court documents.

Tschaggeny is charged with ID theft, abuse of a corpse, theft, and tampering with physical evidence.

According to jail records, Tschaggeny has two prior felony convictions for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and violating a restraining order.