Jonathan Koppenhaver, a former mixed martial arts fighter who legally changed his name to War Machine, was convicted by a Las Vegas jury on Monday of 29 felonies, including kidnapping, beating and sexually assaulting his then-girlfriend over a period of several months in 2014, as well beating a man he found in her bedroom.
War Machine’s ex-girlfriend, porn actress Christie Mackinday, aka Christie Mack, spent eight hours on the witness stand crying as she recounted how she was raped and beaten on multiple occasions in the months leading up to the attack on her and Corey Thomas. Thomas testified that he had dated Mackinday for two months leading up to the night that War Machine came home unexpectedly, switched on the bedroom light and proceeded to pummel and choke him on the bed.
Thomas, owner of a digital media company, suffered a broken nose, dislocated shoulder, scrapes, bruises and bite marks, testifying that the beating only stopped when he asked War Machine if his “end game” was going to be killing him. Mackinday also testified that she was attacked after Thomas left, leaving her with missing teeth, a broken nose, a fractured eye socket, leg injuries and even a lacerated liver.
Mackinday only managed to escape when she fled and made her way to a neighbor’s house while bleeding profusely after War Machine went to the kitchen to get a knife. War Machine was arrested in Los Angeles a week later and was sent back to Nevada where he has been serving a one-to-four year sentence for probation violation after the attempted battery of a 21-year-old woman in 2009.
The Associated Press doesn’t usually name sexual assault victims, but Mackinday gave her consent and neither her nor Thomas were in the courtroom when the verdict was handed down. War Machine was acquitted by a jury of six men and six women on the three lesser counts of battery with intent to commit sexual assault, burglary with a weapon and sexually motivated coercion.
However, when he received the guilty verdict for two of the most serious charges, kidnapping and sexual assault with a weapon, he simply shook his head, as each of those convictions could possibly see War Machine serving a life sentence without the possibility parole. The jury were also deadlocked on two counts of attempted-murder.
Defense attorney Jay Leiderman said he’ll appeal the convictions and concluded in his closing arguments that War Machine was “a raging bull” and that a combination of brain injuries from his MMA career, coupled with steroid, non-prescribtion drug and anti-depresant abuse could have culminated in “roid rage,” however, War Machine didn’t testify. Sentencing was scheduled for June 5.