War Machine faces jury, 34 charges on first day of trial - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

War Machine faces jury, 34 charges on first day of trial

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

His legal name is War Machine, but his defense lawyers referred to him by the name given to him at birth: Jonathan Koppenhaver. The former MMA fighter and porn star stood before a jury on the first day of his trial Monday.

War Machine faces 34 charges and the possibility of life in prison. It took approximately 30 minutes for the court to read and explain all of the charges against him, many of which include assault and sexual abuse.

During opening statements, prosecutor Jacqueline Bluth played a recording of a 911 call placed by Christine Mackinday on the night she said her ex-boyfriend, Machine, almost beat her to death for sleeping in the same bed as Corey Thomas, a new boyfriend.

Mackinday is also a porn star, who goes by the name "Christy Mack." She said she met War Machine while making an adult film with him. 

Thomas took the stand on Monday. He testified that he had never met War Machine until he woke up to find the former MMA fighter staring at him in the doorway with the lights on. He said War Machine immediately started punching him in the face and choking him.

Prosecutors said Mackinday dialed 911 so the operator could hear what was going on, but she couldn't respond out of fear of being caught.

After War Machine let Thomas go, prosecutors said the fighter continued to abuse Mackinday for two hours.

One of War Machine's attorneys, Jay Lieberman, said Mackinday had "rape fantasies" and that she enjoyed being choked during sex. He blamed the couple's immaturity. Prosecutors confirmed that Mackinday enjoyed being choked, but they insist this was not the case that night.

"She wanted to be raped by him," Lieberman said. "She wanted it to be a surprise."

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