In March we covered the story of Jonathan Koppenhaver, a former mixed martial arts fighter who legally changed his name to War Machine, being charged with 29 felonies including kidnapping, beating and sexually assaulting his then-girlfriend during 2014, as well beating a man he found in her bedroom. On Monday he learned his fate and his future doesn’t look bright.
War Machine received the guilty verdict for two of the most serious charges, kidnapping and sexual assault with a weapon, but the jury were also deadlocked on counts of attempted-murder and attempted murder with use of a deadly weapon at his trial in Las Vegas on March 20. Sentencing was scheduled for June 5 and despite defense attorney Jay Leiderman saying he’d appeal the convictions, the results are in.
War Machine received an aggregate sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 36 years, meaning the youngest he will see the outside world again is when he is 71. No decision has been made on the two attempted-murder charges and the defense is filing a motion for a new trial. None of this puts the mind of his ex-girlfriend, porn-actress Christie “Christie Mack” Mackinday, at ease, who said while fighting through tears during her victim impact statement, “I do know when he gets out, he will kill me.”
War Machine, however, claims he regrets everything. “Not a day goes by that I don’t seriously regret all those things that I did. I was a very, very lost, very empty person,” he said in his statement. “And to top it off, something’s not right with my head. Plain and simple. I’ve known that a long time and I’ve hated it. I’ve hated the way that I think.” War Machine added, “I’ve hated my impulses. Half the time, I don’t know why I do some of the things I do. And some of the times I do things and I don’t even feel like I did them until it’s already done.”
The main attack occured back in 2014 when War Machine came home unexpectedly and caught Mackindlay in bed with Corey Thomas, the owner of a digital media company and whom Mackindlay had secretly been dating. Thomas suffered a broken nose, dislocated shoulder, scrapes, bruises and bite marks, but Mackindlay fared far worse with 18 broken bones, a broken nose, missing teeth, a fractured rib, a ruptured liver and a thigh bruise so deep she couldn’t walk for several weeks. The brutal attacks only ceased when War Machine left to get a knife.