Man accused of stealing MAX victim’s ring changes plea

He previously pleaded not guilty to all charges

George Tschaggeny was charged with 5 counts of ID theft, June 22, 2017. (KOIN)
George Tschaggeny was charged with 5 counts of ID theft, June 22, 2017. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The man accused of stealing from MAX stabbing victim Ricky Best has changed his plea to the charges against him.

George Elwood Tschaggeny was charged with abuse of a corpse, theft, tampering with physical evidence and 6 counts of identity theft for allegedly stealing Best’s backpack and wedding ring after he was stabbed on May 26.

Ricky Best, 53, was killed in a stabbing on a MAX train, May 26, 2017. (Family via CNN)

Tschaggeny pleaded not guilty in June to the charges of abuse of a corpse, theft, tampering with physical evidence and 6 counts of identity theft . On Nov. 6 he pleaded guilty to 1 count first theft, 1 count tampering with physical evidence and 2 counts of identity theft. Other charges were dismissed.

Tschaggeny is scheduled to appear in court again on Nov. 14 for sentencing.

Tschaggeny was arrested on June 2 at a homeless camp in Northeast Portland with Best’s wedding ring on his pinky finger, according to prosecutors. He also had Best’s credit cards.

Best was one of 3 men who tried to intervene when Jeremy Christian allegedly yelled hate speech at 2 young women on the MAX. Best, 53, died along with Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche.