After an actioned packed first day of testimony, the trial of the mixed martial arts fighter whose legal name is War Machine (changed from Jonathan Paul Koppenhaver) will continue into Day 2. War Machine is charged with attempted murder, sexual assault, kidnapping, and dozens of other charges for allegedly attacking his ex-girlfriend, Christine Mackinday, also known as adult film star Christy Mack, and Corey Thomas. The case is being tried in Las Vegas district court, and is scheduled to resume at 10:30 am local time.
The alleged incident took place in August 2014, when the former Koppenhaver entered Mackinday’s home and found the pair in her bedroom. War Machine allegedly assaulted Thomas using maneuvers he’s utilized to win professional fights, and then turned his attention to Mackdinday. He is accused of inflicting injuries including broken teeth, swollen eyes, and a lacerated liver, as well as sexually assaulting Mackinday, threatening to rape and kill her.
Mackinday posted pictures of her injuries on the internet after the alleged attack, and War Machine’s legal team has claimed that she consented to the activity, due to the former porn star’s proclivity towards rough sex and rape fantasies.
On Monday, prosecutor Jacqueline Bluth gave a strong opening statement where she walked jurors through the brutal attack on Christy Mack and Corey Thomas. She also played the horrifying 911 call where you can hear Mack screaming in the background from the day of the attack. After the beating, prosecutors believes War Machine then used Mack’s cell phone to text Corey and Mack’s mother in order to trick them into believing everything was ok with her — so they wouldn’t know she had actually just been put in danger.
Defense Attorney Jay Liederman gave his opening statement and brought up the consent and sexual fantasy defense. Corey Thomas, one of the alleged victims, was the prosecution’s first witness. Thomas testified about how War Machine burst into the bedroom that night and yelled “what the f***,” he then recounted being brutalized by the former fighter. The defense’s cross-examination of victim Thomas was a bit rambling. Defense got Thomas to say that his vision was strong enough to agree to a written statement after the attack. Thomas said he didn’t feel that bad and that his state of mind was okay. During cross, Thomas was also questioned about his experience with fighting, and other self-defense tactics.
War Machine faces up to life in prison without parole.
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Ronn Blitzer and Aaron Keller contributed to this report.
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