Jury convicts War Machine of battery, sex assault, but not attem - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Jury convicts War Machine of battery, sex assault, but not attempted murder

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War Machine looks down in court as a juror reads his verdict on March 20, 2017. (FOX5) War Machine looks down in court as a juror reads his verdict on March 20, 2017. (FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

A Las Vegas jury convicted once-promising mixed-martial arts fighter War Machine on 29 counts, including battery and sexual assault, but was "hopelessly" deadlocked on the most serious attempted murder charges. 

War Machine, who was born Jonathan Koppenhaver, appeared steadily animated, often looking down and shaking his head, as a jury foreman read off each count on Monday. Eventually he smiled and shrugged his shoulders.

In all, the jurors gave the following verdicts:

  1. Battery: Guilty.
  2. Coercion: Guilty.
  3. Dissuading witness: Guilty.
  4. Battery, strangulation: Guilty.
  5. Coercion: Guilty.
  6. Dissuading witness: Guilty.
  7. Kidnapping: Guilty.
  8. Battery: Guilty.
  9. Sexual assault: Guilty.
  10. Sexual assault: Guilty.
  11. Sexual assault: Guilty.
  12. Sexual assault: Guilty.
  13. Burglary with use of a deadly weapon: Not guilty.
  14. First-degree kidnapping: Guilty.
  15. Coercion, sexually-motivated: Not guilty.
  16. Battery (related to August 8, 2014 battery of Christine Mackinday): Guilty.
  17. Battery (related to 2014 battery): Guilty.
  18. Battery (related to 2014 battery): Guilty.
  19. Battery (related to 2014 battery): Guilty.
  20. Battery (related to 2014 battery): Guilty.
  21. Battery (related to 2014 battery): Guilty.
  22. Battery (related to 2014 battery): Guilty.
  23. Battery (related to 2014 battery): Guilty.
  24. Battery with intent to commit sexual assault: Not guilty.
  25. Sexual assault with use of a deadly weapon: Guilty.
  26. Attempted murder of Mackinday: Hung jury.
  27. Battery/strangulation (related to Corey Thomas): Guilty.
  28. Battery/strangulation (related to Thomas): Guilty.
  29. Battery/strangulation (related to Thomas): Guilty.
  30. Battery/strangulation (related to Thomas): Guilty.
  31. Battery/strangulation (related to Thomas): Guilty.
  32. Battery/strangulation (related to Thomas): Guilty.
  33. Attempted murder of Thomas: Hung jury.
  34. Dissuading witness from reporting crime: Guilty.
     

Jurors were decided on all but two of the 34 charges against War Machine. The two remaining undecided charges prompted jurors to inquire the trial attorneys.

Sentencing was scheduled for May 8. Prosecutor Jacqueline Bluth indicated life in prison without parole is still on the table despite the mistrials for attempted murder. The Clark County District Attorney's office is expected to decide whether to re-try War Machine on the counts.

"Sentencing wise, it means nothing," Bluth said.

Jurors began deliberating on Friday after a week and a half of revealing testimony that involved the alleged victims, War Machine's ex-lover, Christine Mackinday, and her friend, Corey Thomas.

The incidents tied to War Machine were alleged to have happened three to four years ago. Between that and the start of the trial last week, his legal team worked to gather evidence and witnesses aimed at getting their client off the hook for the brutal injuries inflicted on Mackinday and Thomas. Mackinday, who went by the name Christy Mack when she performed in the adult entertainment industry, opted for her name to be known in this case that involved an alleged sexual assault.

"It says to victims out there, just because you never told anybody that doesn't mean a jury won't believe you," Bluth said. "This is our job, but for Miss Mackinday and Mr. Thomas? They've never been able to get out of this cloud."

During the trial that lasted a week and a half, both prosecutors and defense attorneys presented a multitude of graphic texts, images and testimony - ranging from pictures of Mackinday's facial injuries to a correspondence that detailed the lurid nature of the suspect and victim's relationship.

War Machine's defense attorney, Jay Leiderman, eventually admitted his client was guilty of eight battery charges during closing arguments.

"I think Jon's going to need a little bit of time to process this," Leiderman said. "It's a really difficult day for him. I can't even begin to tell you what he's thinking."

After the conviction, Leiderman immediately said he planned to file a motion for a new trial. 

"The verdict isn't even five minutes old, however there are substantial issues we felt both legally (and) factually," he said "The one thing we couldn't do, the one thing we had no ability to change, was to go back and change the facts of August 8, 2014."

In case you missed any part of FOX5's coverage, see the stories below:

Follow FOX5's Adam Herbets on Twitter for live updates as sentencing approaches.

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