Former MMA fighter Jon “War Machine” Koppenhaver has been sentenced to life in prison in Las Vegas, Nevada, after he was found guilty of abusing his then-girlfriend, Christy Mack.
The brutal attack, which took place in April 2014, lasted two hours and left Mack broken and emotionally scarred. She was hospitalized, badly bruised, swollen, and disfigured. Four months later, Mack opened up about the incident. She told the Huffington Post that she suffered 18 broken bones, a fractured rib, and a ruptured liver. She also lost multiple teeth and needed to undergo plastic surgery to repair the otherwise permanent damage to her face.
“He has beaten me many times before, but never this badly. He took my phone and canceled all of my plans for the following week to make sure no one would worry about my whereabouts. He told me he was going to rape me, but was disappointed in himself when he could not get hard,” Mack told the Huffington Post.
Mack was somehow able to run away from War Machine, leaving the house and knocking on neighbors’ doors until someone answered. She was rushed to the hospital where she was treated for the injuries she sustained.
“I ran out my back door, shutting it behind me so the dogs didn’t run inside to tip him off. I hopped the fence to the golf course behind my house and ran to a neighboring house. Naked and afraid he would catch me, I kept running through the neighborhood knocking on doors. Finally, one answered and I was brought to the hospital and treated for my injuries,” she said.
According to TMZ, War Machine, 35, was convicted of “sexual assault, coercion, battery by strangulation, kidnapping, and several other charges” prior to Monday’s sentencing date. Now, he will be spending much of his adult life in prison. He will be eligible for parole in 2053 — when he’s 71-years-old.
“His attorney, Jay Leiderman, tried unsuccessfully to lobby for a new trial, claiming that it was a case of ‘blind rage’ and that he had insufficient time to prepare for the case. The judge, though, denied the motion, stating that it had to be filed within seven days of the initial verdict. During the sentencing portion of the hearing, Leiderman blamed War Machine’s behavior in part on his mother, steroids and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), claiming that he is now a new man after three years behind bars after finding christ,” MMA Mania reports.
Mack was still uneasy in court after hearing War Machine’s sentence. The fact that he will someday be eligible for parole makes it hard for her to “feel right.”
“I don’t know if my life will feel complete in 12 years or 30 years and neither do you, but I do know when he gets out he will kill me,” Mack said, according to the New York Post.
After learning his sentence, War Machine spoke about the incident and admits that he regrets what he did.
— José Youngs (@JoseYoungs) June 5, 2017
“I hate that I had to hurt the woman I love. This has helped me begin to grow into a real man,” he said. “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t seriously regret all of the things that I did. I was a very, very lost and very empty person,” he added.
Are you surprised to hear that War Machine was sentenced to life in prison? Do you think that he should be eligible for parole? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Simi Valley Police Department via Getty Images]