Former mixed martial arts fighter Jonathan Koppenhaver, a.k.a. War Machine, was sentenced to life in prison in a Las Vegas, Nevada, courtroom on June 5 for his brutal attack on ex-girlfriend Christy Mack almost three years ago. Mack suffered multiple horrific injuries including 18 broken bones, a broken nose, missing teeth, a fractured rib, a ruptured liver and a thigh bruise so deep she wouldn’t be able to walk for several weeks.
War Machine, 35, will be eligible for parole in 36 years (2053) when he is 71 years old.
On March 21 earlier this year, War Machine was found guilty on 29 of 34 counts, including battery, sexual assault and kidnapping, but avoided attempted murder charges due to a hung jury. Mack’s emotional and raw testimony was a big reason behind his conviction, later revealing on HBO’s “Real Sports” that she “felt like she was going to die” during the attack.
Meanwhile, Koppenhaver’s attorney Jay Leiderman, tried unsuccessfully to lobby for a new trial, claiming that it was a case of “blind rage” and insufficient time to prepare for the case. The judge, however denied the motion, stating that it had to be filed within seven days of the initial verdict. During the sentencing portion of the hearing, Leiderman cited multiple reasons for War Machine’s behavor including his relationship with his mother, steroids and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), claiming that he is now a new man after three years behind bars after finding christ.
On October 14, 2014 while in custody, War Machine unsuccessfully committed suicide and made multiple apologetic pleas across the course of his case.
War Machine, who pleaded “not guilty” during the trial, has since turned down two previous plea deals, one that would have seen him serve 16 years to life in prison and the other for 18 to 40 years.
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