Big news out of Las Vegas Monday as the former mixed martial arts fighter known as War Machine was found guilty on charges of kidnapping, beating and sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend in 2014 during a span of several months. He also beat up her male friend when he discovered them together in her bedroom.
Jurors in Nevada were deadlocked on the two attempted-murder counts against Jonathan Paul Koppenhaver, (AKA War Machine.) But, the jury did convict him on 29 felonies that emerged from the attacks on his porn star ex-girlfriend, Christy Mack and her friend Corey Thomas.
CBS Los Angeles reports that the Associated Press typically doesn’t identify people who are victims of sexual assault, but Christy Mack gave the AP permission to use her name.
It appears neither of the victims were in the courtroom yesterday while 35 year-old while Koppenhaver, stood surrounded by his lawyers with his arms folded across his chest as the verdicts were read.
The former Simi Valley resident an MMA fighter shook his head a bit as the verdict of “guilty” came down on two of the most serious counts he was charged; sexual assault with a weapon and kidnapping. With each of those counts he could get up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
June 5th is the scheduled day for sentencing. However, defense attorney Jay Leiderman said he is going to appeal the convictions.
Leiderman said, “He’s a tough guy. He stood there and took the verdicts,” “But it’s obviously the worst day of his life.”
As for some of the other lesser counts, Koppenhaver was acquitted, including battery with intent to commit sexual assault, burglary with a weapon and sexually motivated coercion.
24 year-old Christy Mack, spent about eight hours on the witness stand, understandably upset as she described being beaten and raped by Koppenhaver several times in 2014, just months before the August attack on her and Thomas.
Corey Thomas, testified that he had dated Christy Mack for a couple of months before Koppenhaver unexpectedly showed up at her home, turned on the bedroom lights and attacked him on the bed by hitting him with rapid-fire punches and choking him.
In Thomas testimony it states that the injuries he suffered were a broken nose, dislocated shoulder, scrapes, bruises and even bite marks. He said the beating eventually stopped, after he asked the former MMA fighter if his “end game” was going to be to kill him or let him go.
After Thomas left, Koppenhaver then reportedly attacked Mack. The jury was shown photos of Mack with a broken nose, missing teeth, a fractured eye socket and leg injuries. Mack also suffered a lacerated liver.
Christy Mack said after she ran from her home, bleeding to neighbors’ homes, Koppenhaver went to the kitchen to grab a knife.
Koppenhaver was found to be hiding at a Simi Valley motel before being returned to Nevada. In 2009 he was convicted for attempted battery involving a a 21 year-old woman, he’s been serving a 1½- to four-year sentence for violating his probation on that conviction.
The former MMA fighter sent a tweet during the time he went to visit Mack, showing it as a “visit” to his girlfriend to give her an engagement ring.
In 2007, Koppenhaver made his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut. As a welterweight he had a 14-5 record and legally changed his name to War Machine. His fought his final fight in 2013.
After Christy Macks’ accusations became public, he was dropped by his fight promoter and his clothing line.