War Machine trial day 8: Both sides rest their case - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

War Machine trial day 8: Both sides rest their case

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

War Machine had a big smile Wednesday when Judge Elissa Cadish announced that it's finally over.

The last witnesses have testified. The only thing left to settle is closing arguments on Thursday morning.

“You saw the big smile from Jon. Did you see the big glow of relief from me?" Jay Leiderman, War Machine's defense attorney, said. "There will be a bigger one tomorrow once we're done closing. It's been a long trial. It's a grueling trial. It's a very difficult trial for both sides. The stakes are enormous, life without parole. The pressure builds as the trial goes on. So, tomorrow, that'll be it. Then it's in the hands of the jury.”

War Machine faces 34 charges. He's accused of beating, choking, raping, kidnapping, burglarizing and attempting to murder his ex-girlfriend Christine Mackinday. He's also accused of assaulting the man he found in bed with her, Corey Thomas.

Doctors on both sides agree

War Machine's defense team asked multiple doctors if they believed Mackinday's injuries could prove War Machine only punched her twice in the face. Earlier this week, a doctor testifying on behalf of the defense said that it's possible. On Wednesday, the emergency room doctor who treated Mackinday said he agreed.

FOX5 asked Leiderman, even if War Machine only punched twice, isn't that still a crime?

 "We have defenses to it," Leiderman said. "There are things called affirmative defenses, meaning he did it, but there’s a justifiable excuse for why he did it, and we’re still working on our closing so we don’t know or we can’t say which way we’re going to go exactly.”

Our follow-up question was, "What do you consider a justifiable excuse?"

Leiderman declined to answer, stating that he would save his response for the defense's closing argument.

War Machine's brain

Dr. Steven Holper was the first witness to take the stand on Wednesday. He said he specializes in treating head injuries.

Holper said he reviewed an MRI of War Machine's brain and found out the former fighter has damage to his frontal lobe, which control his personality. Leiderman asked him what kind of symptoms are typically associated with that type of lesion.

"They're hyper-sexual. They eat a lot. They're very aggressive," Holper said. "The main thing is, they do stuff they don't know they're doing it. If it's wrong, they don't appreciate it being wrong."

Leiderman also asked if War Machine's history of taking steroids, antidepressants and Adderall could make things worse.

"That adds sort of more gasoline to the fire?" Leiderman asked.

"That's a nasty combination," Holper said. "Yes."

Prosecutor Jacqueline Bluth seemed to take issue with Holper's testimony. At times, the two yelled and argued over terminology and his interpretation of the evidence.

Eventually, Holper reemphasized that it would be impossible for him to make a full diagnosis of War Machine because he never treated him in person.

"So you said (these types of patients) could act like an animal?" asked Bluth

"They could," Holper said. "They could act like a saint ... You're just showing me one little area of the brain. You haven't shown me the whole lab. You haven't shown me the whole brain."

FOX5 asked Leiderman how his client's brain damage is pertinent to the case. He said it could prove War Machine is not guilty of some crimes.

"(It) brings forth a potential defense of reflexive action, unappreciative action," Leiderman said. "It means he didn't consciously or willfully commit those crimes."

Leiderman said his closing argument will likely last approximately two hours and he expects the same from the prosecution.

Follow @AdamHerbets on Twitter for live updates from the courtroom throughout the remainder of the trial.

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