Jonathan Paul Koppenhaver, aka War Machine, convicted of 29 counts by Las Vegas jury

LAS VEGAS -- The former mixed martial arts fighter known as War Machine was found guilty Monday of kidnapping, beating and sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend over several months in 2014, and of beating her male friend when he found them together in her bedroom.

Nevada jurors deadlocked on two attempted-murder counts against Jonathan Paul Koppenhaver but convicted him of 29 felonies stemming from attacks on Christy Mack and Corey Thomas.

The Associated Press normally does not identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault, but Mack gave AP permission to use her name.

Neither she nor Thomas was in the courtroom while Koppenhaver, 35, stood flanked by his lawyers. He folded his arms across his chest as the verdicts were read.

Koppenhaver shook his head a little as he heard "guilty" to the two most serious counts -- kidnapping and sexual assault with a weapon. Each could get him up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Sentencing was scheduled for June 5. Defense attorney Jay Leiderman said he'll appeal the convictions.

"He's a tough guy. He stood there and took the verdicts," Leiderman said. "But it's obviously the worst day of his life."

Koppenhaver was acquitted on three lesser counts -- battery with intent to commit sexual assault, burglary with a weapon and sexually motivated coercion.

The jury of six women and six men left the courthouse without speaking with reporters or attorneys.

Prosecutors Jacqueline Bluth and Robert Stephens said they were happy with the verdict. Bluth referred to Mack, a porn actress, by her legal name, Christine Mackinday.

"I think what was important to Ms. Mackinday was that the jury believed her in regards to previous conduct that she never reported," Bluth said. "What that says to domestic violence victims is that even if you don't report it right away, a jury can still believe you."

In closing arguments, Leiderman characterized Koppenhaver as a "raging bull" with brain injuries from his fighting career and emotions inflamed by the use of steroids and non-prescription stimulant and antidepressant drugs that combined could have caused mood swings and violence that the defense attorney termed "roid rage."

Koppenhaver didn't testify.

Mack, 24, spent eight hours on the witness stand, crying as she said she was beaten and raped by Koppenhaver several times in the months before the August 2014 attack on her and Thomas.

Thomas, a digital media company owner, testified that he dated Mack for two months before Koppenhaver arrived at her home unexpectedly, flipped on the bedroom lights and set upon him on the bed with rapid-fire punches and choking.

Thomas testified that he suffered a broken nose, dislocated shoulder, scrapes, bruises and bite marks. The beating stopped, he said, when he asked Koppenhaver if his "end game" was going to be to kill him or let him go.

Mack testified that Koppenhaver attacked her after Thomas left. The jury saw photos of Mack with a broken nose, missing teeth, fractured eye socket and leg injuries. She also suffered a lacerated liver.

Mack said she fled her home and ran bleeding to neighbors' homes when Koppenhaver went to the kitchen to fetch a knife.

Koppenhaver was arrested a week later in the Los Angeles suburb of Simi Valley and was returned to Nevada. He has been serving a one- to four-year sentence for violating his probation on a 2009 conviction for attempted battery involving a 21-year-old woman.

Koppenhaver made his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut in 2007. He had a 14-5 record as a welterweight and legally changed his name to War Machine. His final fight was in 2013.

He was dropped by his fight promoter and his clothing line after Mack's accusations became public.

Jonathan Paul Koppenhaver, known as War Machine, was convicted of 29 counts in the trial over the assault of his ex-girlfriend, Christy Mack. The jury deadlocked on two counts of attempted murder. He faces up to life in prison. Jason Ogulnik


JON 'WAR MACHINE' KOPPENHAVER GUILTY OF 29 CHARGES, MISTRIAL ON ATTEMPTED MURDER

Former mixed martial arts fighter War Machine, born Jon Koppenhaver, was found guilty of 29 counts by a Las Vegas jury stemming from the assault of adult film star Christy Mack, Analise Ortiz of KTNV in Las Vegas reported.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict on charges of attempted murder and attempted murder with a deadly weapon.

According to Antonio Castelan of KSNV, Koppenhaver will be sentenced June 5.

Castelan and Faith Jessie reported the jury found him not guilty on charges of "burglary with use of a deadly weapon, sexually motivated coercion, battery with intent to commit sexual assault, and sexual assault with use of a deadly weapon resulting in substantial bodily harm."

Jacqueline Bluth, the Clark County chief deputy district attorney, said the 35-year-old could potentially receive a life sentence without the possibility of parole at his sentencing hearing, per Herbets.

Mack, whose real name is Christine Mackinday, testified March 8 about the incident. She told jurors of the abuse at the hands of Koppenhaver had occurred over a period of months and on the night of the assault she "genuinely felt [she] was going to die," per David Ferrara of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Jane McManus of espnW.com wrote Mackinday suffered 18 broken bones, including a fractured rib and broken nose. She also had a ruptured liver that prevented doctors from initially operating on her for fear of putting her under anesthesia.


War Machine faces life sentence in ex-girlfriend's beating

A Las Vegas jury on Monday handed down a mixed verdict for mixed martial arts fighter War Machine. He was found guilty in the 2014 beating of his ex-girlfriend and her male friend, but the jury was deadlocked on the most serious charges of attempted murder with a deadly weapon.

After eight days of testimony and almost two days of deliberations, War Machine, who changed his name from Jonathan Koppenhaver, was found guilty on 29 of 34 charges -- including domestic violence, sexual assault, kidnapping and coercing witnesses -- in the beatings of porn star Christy Mack and her friend Corey Thomas in August 2014.

War Machine, 35, did not take the stand, but his attorneys admitted he assaulted the pair after storming into Mack's home and finding her in bed with Thomas.

Mack, 25, whose real names is Christine Mackinday, told the jury how War Machine first pummeled Thomas and then turned his rage on her, beating her for two hours before she could run to a neighbor for help.

By the time the incident was over, Mack said, she was left with missing teeth, a broken eye socket, a fractured rib and a ruptured liver. She also said War Machine tried to rape her at knifepoint, but was unable to follow through.

Mack told the jury, "I just remember being right in front of the shower like I was about to stand up and he kicked me in the ribs so hard that I fell over."

Mack added, "He looks at me and says now I have to kill you, I've gone too far. You can't be seen like this. Everyone's gonna know."

War Machine will remain behind bars until his sentencing. According to the prosecutor, Clark County Chief Deputy District Attorney Jacqueline Bluth, he faces the possibility of life in prison without parole, despite the jury's indecision on the attempted murder charges.

Jay Leiderman, War Machine's lawyer, said brain injuries and a cocktail of drugs -- including Adderall, Lexapro, and steroids -- combined with rage and shock and led to a situation in which "someone loses their mind."
Prosecutors said there is no proof War Machine was under the influence of drugs at the time of the attack, and contended Mack endured abuse on multiple occasions over the span of the couple's 15-month relationship.

0 Response to "Jonathan Paul Koppenhaver, aka War Machine, convicted of 29 counts by Las Vegas jury"