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March 20, 2017

Jury Finds War Machine Guilty On 29 Of 34 Counts

LAS VEGAS—Just over one hour ago, Jonathan "War Machine" Kopenhaver was found guilty of 29 of the 34 counts with which he had been charged, bringing an end to the trial which lasted just more than two weeks and perhaps bringing some relief to his two victims, former adult star Christy Mack and her boyfriend Corey Thomas. A full list of the charges can be found here, and among the ones of which he was found guilty are several counts of battery resulting in substantial bodily harm (including battery by strangulation) on both Mack and Thomas, sexual assault (including sexual assault with use of a deadly weapon), first degree kidnapping, as well as dissuading a witness from reporting a crime. Koppenhaver was found not guilty of burglary with use of a deadly weapon, sexually motivated coercion, and battery with intent to commit sexual assault. The jury, which was composed of eight women and seven men, deliberated for approximately 11 hours over two days but was unable to reach a verdict on Counts 26 and 33, the attempted murder of his two victims. Upon hearing the jury's verdicts, District Judge Elissa Cadish declared a mistrial as to those two counts. The Las Vegas District Attorney's office will have the option to retry Koppenhaver on the attempted murder charges, but considering that none of the charges could result in the death penalty, the DA may wait until Judge Cadish pronounces sentences on the other 29 charges on June 5, which could result in life in prison for the former MMA fighter, before making its decision. After hearing the jury's verdicts, defense attorney Jay Liederman told reporters that he will be filing a motion for a new trial on at least some of the charges, though likely not the ones for which Koppenhaver pled guilty: Counts 16-23, which are several counts of Battery Resulting In Substantial Bodily Harm Constituting Domestic Violence and Battery With Use Of A Deadly Weapon Constituting Domestic Violence. Koppenhaver has been in custody since his arrest in Simi Valley in late 2014, and has been serving a 1-1/2 to four-year sentence for violating his probation on a 2009 conviction for attempted battery involving a 21-year-old woman. Pictured: Christy Mack before and after her beating by Jonathan Koppenhaver.

 
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