War Machine admits to beating Christy Mack at trial's end - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

War Machine admits to beating Christy Mack at trial's end

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War Machine, who was born as Jonathan Koppenhaver, appears for opening arguments in his assault trial on March 6, 2017. (FOX5) War Machine, who was born as Jonathan Koppenhaver, appears for opening arguments in his assault trial on March 6, 2017. (FOX5)

Attorneys on both sides of the War Machine trial finished their closing arguments Thursday. It was the ninth and final day of trial before jurors would begin deliberating.

"We'll find out soon," War Machine told his lawyer.

The former MMA fighter, accusing of beating, raping and attempting to kill his ex-girlfriend Christine Mackinday, smiled and gave a big hug to his attorney Jay Leiderman. 

During closing arguments, Leiderman admitted that his client is guilty on some of the 34 charges he's accused of.

Yes, War Machine beat Christy Mack, he admitted.

"I am not trying to justify the battery," Leiderman said. "He's guilty."

Still, Leiderman said many of the other charges are trumped up. 

"Mr. Koppenhaver started this case with seven counts," he told the jury. "And here you sit charged with the task of determining 34."

War Machine's defense team maintained that he is not guilty of rape or attempted murder. The prosecution emphatically disagreed.

"You are the only 12 people in this entire world who can tell War Machine what he did was wrong," prosecutor Jacqueline Bluth told the jury. "Everything that you just heard (from the defense) made it seem like it was State of Nevada vs. Christine Mackinday. That is not the state of this case."

Leiderman described his client as "not the type of guy" who will pick up Starbucks for you and everybody else at the office. He said that doesn't make him a criminal, and he's well within his right not to testify in this case.

Leiderman argued that it is the prosecution's job is prove War Machine is guilty of a crime beyond unreasonable doubt. He said the lack of DNA evidence on Mackinday's rape kit is proof that the crime never took place.

"Yeah (the scientist) didn't find (Machine's DNA)," Leiderman said. "Of course not. It wasn't there."

Leiderman also said that a jury cannot convict War Machine of attempted murder because it's obvious that if he was trying to kill Mackinday, he would have succeeded. Testimony indicated that War Machine also said things during the beating about wanting to take her back.

"If he really wanted to kill Miss Mackinday, all he had to do was keep hitting her," Leiderman said. "I hate standing up here and making these arguments, but this is the nature of this case. This is the evidence."

"'Now I have to kill you,'" said prosecutor Rob Stevens. "These are the last words Christine Mackinday heard ... This is not me attempting to choke somebody out. This is a trained professional."

Leiderman said he doesn't believe Mackinday is a "liar," but he said her brain may have "back-filled" memories. He said her testimony was inconsistent.

Prosecutors appeared to have taken the comments about Mackinday personally.

Bluth accused the defense of trying to paint Mackinday as a woman doing all of this for the sake of a publicity stunt.

"Twitter and Instagram followers?" Bluth said. "That is one heck of a beating to take for some extra followers."

At one point, Leiderman told the jury that War Machine is guilty of beating the man he found in bed with Mackinday, Corey Thomas.

After conferring with his client during a quick recess, Leiderman had to revoke that statement. War Machine did not give him permission to say that. He was forced to tell the jury that they still maintain War Machine is not guilty on that charge because of "mutual combat."

Leiderman told the jury that there is a difference between "innocent" and "not guilty." He urged jurors to look at all the facts and to make a "not guilty" ruling if prosecutors didn't show enough proof.

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