The jury is deliberating in the trial against War Machine, the mixed martial arts fighter formerly known as Jonathan Koppenhaver, who is facing 34 charges including attempted murder and sexual assault for allegedly attacking his ex-girlfriend, former adult film star Christine Mackinday (also known as Christy Mack), and another man, Corey Thomas, who was in bed with her at the time. LawNewz.com and the LawNewz Network will bring you the verdict live as it’s announced. When it happens, you’ll be able to see it in the player above.
Both sides gave their closing arguments on Thursday. The prosecution methodically went through the long list of charges, reminding the jury of testimony that supported each one. The defense conceded several of the battery charges, virtually assuring that War Machine will serve at least some jail time. However, defense attorney Jay Leiderman argued that the prosecution overcharged in this case, and that War Machine is not guilty of sexual assault, attempted murder, or several of the other counts he’s facing.
Leiderman said that while War Machine did put Corey Thomas in a choke hold, he wasn’t trying to kill him. He said that while Mackinday argues that she did not consent to sexual contact, War Machine honestly and reasonably believed that she did, based on explicit messages that they had exchanged. Leiderman also challenged Mackinday’s account of her relationship with War Machine, saying that there was no cycle of abuse, and that she convinced herself that there was after learning about domestic violence. That part was certainly controversial, especially given that Mackinday described multiple instances of abuse while she was on the stand. Leiderman also argued that substances that War Machine had been taking, including steroids and prescription medications, affected his mental state during the time of the alleged attacks.
During her rebuttal, prosecutor Jacqueline Bluth stated that there was no evidence that War Machine was on steroids or other drugs at the time he allegedly assaulted Mackinday and Thomas. She also defended the number of charges that the state brought against War Machine, saying that there had been months of abuse and the prosecution could not ignore it.