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War Machine found guilty on 29 counts, faces life in prison

Opening arguments are heard in the trial for War Machine, also known as Jonathan Koppenhaver, on Monday, March 6, 2017, at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas. (Justin Fuller/KSNV)

LAS VEGAS (KSNV) - After a day and a half of deliberations, a Clark County jury found War Machine guilty on 29 felony counts.

The jury decided the evidence showed that Jon Koppenhaver, now known as War Machine, beat up his former girlfriend, Christine Mackinday, known professionally as Christy Mack, and Corey Thomas in August 2014.

The former MMA fighter was found guilty on a total of 29 out of 34 charges, including sexual assault, kidnapping, and battery constituting domestic violence.

War Machine's defense hoped to acquit their client of the kidnapping and sex assault charges but were unable to.

"Those were the whole trial. You know, the not guilties. The hung juries. The lesser included all of that we were able to achieve are utterly meaningless compared to the two lifes without," said defense attorney Jay Leiderman.

However, the jury was deadlocked on two charges: attempted murder and attempted murder with use of a deadly weapon. They made no decision on those charges and the defense is filing a motion for a new trial.

War Machine was found not guilty on three charges, including burglary with use of a deadly weapon, sexually motivated coercion, and battery with intent to commit sexual assault.

A guilty verdict on two of the charges - first-degree kidnapping with use of a deadly weapon resulting in substantial bodily harm (count 14) and sexual assault with use of a deadly weapon resulting in substantial bodily harm (count 25) - would come with a sentence of life in prison without parole. War Machine was found guilty on both counts.

War Machine Verdicts by Jami Seymore on Scribd

"We are extremely happy with the verdict but I think what this says, and it's important to Ms. Mackinday, is the jury believed her in regards to the previous conduct. What that says to domestic violence victims is even though you didn't report right away a jury can still believe you," said Deputy DA Jacqueline Bluth.

War Machine showed little emotion as the verdict was read. The defense now plans to file a motion for a new trial.

"I would have liked to have more time to prepare this. I would have had experts on board much earlier," said Leiderman.

Mack was not in the courtroom when the verdict was read. The district attorney says she can now go on with her life.

"For Ms. Mackinday and Mr. Thomas, they never been able to get out of this cloud and now, with finality to it, they can start to move on and put this behind them," said Bluth.

RELATED | Christy Mack on War Machine: 'I believed he was getting a knife so he could kill me'

The jury trial, which began on March 6, lasted nearly two weeks, with closing statements given on March 16 and jury deliberations on March 17 and 20.

War Machine faced 34 felony charges in connection with the brutal beating of his former girlfriend, Mack, and her friend, Thomas.

Many took the stand throughout the trial, including Mack, Mack's mother, forensic scientists, CSI investigators, officers from the night of the crime and more.

RELATED | Doctor in War Machine trial told jury MMA fighter suffered traumatic brain injury

The original attack occurred on Aug. 8, 2014.

The then-23-year-old Mack ran to a neighbor's house. She was brutally beaten and sexually assaulted, and her hair was sawed off with a knife.

Mack suffered a broken nose, broken bones around her eyes, and numerous other injuries.

RELATED | US Marshals arrest suspect in savage Las Vegas beating

A warrant was issued for War Machine's arrest following the incident and he was arrested on Aug. 15, 2014 by U.S. Marshals in Simi Valley, California. He was extradited back to Las Vegas about two weeks later and booked into the Clark County Detention Center.

War Machine had his name legally changed from Jonathan Koppenhaver in 2008.

He will be sentenced on May 8 and could face life in prison without parole.

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