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The former mixed martial arts fighter known as War Machine, born Jon Koppenhaver, was found guilty Monday of kidnapping, beating and sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend Christy Mack over several months in 2014, and of beating her male friend when he found them together in her bedroom. Jurors convicted Koppenhaver on 29 felony counts, all stemming from attacks against Mack and the male friend, Corey Thomas.
According to the Associated Press, Koppenhaver, who's 35, stood with his arms folded across his chest while the jury read the verdicts. Neither Mack nor Thomas were in the room as the verdicts were read. Koppenhaver reportedly shook his head when the "guilty" verdict was read for the two most serious charges - kidnapping and sexual assault with a weapon. Each of those counts could get him life in prison with no possibility of parole.
Koppenhaver went to trial earlier this year on Feb. 27. In September 2014, just after the attack in August of that year, Mack posted photos of her horrific injuries to Instagram. During the trial, Clark County District Judge Elissa Cadish gave Koppenhaver's defense permission to present evidence that Koppenhaver and Mack discussed a rape fantasy before the attack took place.
Yet, despite allowing evidence from a couple's shared fantasy, the jury still found Koppenhaver guilty of 29 felony counts. The Associated Press reported that his sentencing is scheduled for June 5, and defense attorney Jay Leiderman said he'll appeal the convictions.
"He's a tough guy. He stood there and took the verdicts," Leiderman said. "But it's obviously the worst day of his life."
Referring to Mack by her full, legal name, Christine Mackinday, prosecutors Jacqueline Bluth and Robert Stephens said they were happy with the verdict.
"I think what was important to Ms. Mackinday was that the jury believed her in regards to previous conduct that she never reported," Bluth said. "What that says to domestic violence victims is that even if you don't report it right away, a jury can still believe you."
Throughout the trial, Mack, who's 24, spent eight hours on the witness stand, crying as she said she was beaten and raped by Koppenhaver several times in the months before the August 2014 attack on her and Thomas.
Thomas, a digital media company owner, testified that he dated Mack for two months before Koppenhaver arrived at her home unexpectedly, flipped on the bedroom lights and set upon him on the bed with rapid-fire punches and choking.
Thomas testified that he suffered a broken nose, dislocated shoulder, scrapes, bruises and bite marks. The beating stopped, he said, when he asked Koppenhaver if his "end game" was going to be to kill him or let him go.
Mack testified that Koppenhaver attacked her after Thomas left. The jury saw photos of Mack with a broken nose, missing teeth, fractured eye socket and leg injuries. She also suffered a lacerated liver.
Mack said she fled her home and ran bleeding to neighbors' homes when Koppenhaver went to the kitchen to fetch a knife. Koppenhaver was arrested a week later in the Los Angeles suburb of Simi Valley, and was returned to Nevada. He has been serving a 1½- to four-year sentence for violating his probation on a 2009 conviction for attempted battery involving a 21-year-old woman.
Associated Press contributed to this report.
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