MMA fighter War Machine sentenced to life in prison for brutal attacks

Damaged ribs and liver of ex-girlfriend while assaulting her new partner

FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2014, file photo, Jonathan Paul Koppenhaver, also known as War Machine, appears in court for a preliminary hearing in Las Vegas. Koppenhaver is accused of assaulting his former girlfriend Christine Mackinday, also known as Christy Mack. A court hearing was reset to June 3, 2015, for Koppenhaver in the former mixed martial arts fighterís challenge of felony charges heís facing in the alleged attempted murder of his ex-girlfriend Mackinday and her friend Corey Thomas. (AP Photo/John Locher, File) ORG XMIT: LA115

Former UFC and Bellator fighter War Machine, real name Jon Koppenhaver, was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 36 years served for the brutal assault of his ex-girlfriend, Christy Mack, and her boyfriend, Corey Thomas. War Machine will be 71 years old by the time he is eligible for parole. At the sentencing hearing, Clark County District Judge Elissa Cadish responded to a final plea by War Machine’s representation saying that he deserved leniency because of his traumatic upbringing: “I don’t think you’re a monster – I think you’re a human being. I don’t discount those, but there also have to be consequences for what happened.”

At the hearing, Mack testified that she had been abused extensively by War Machine in their past relationship, even alleging rape was committed. She also said that if War Machine obtains a release from prison, “he will kill me.” Mack’s mother, Erin Mackinday, took public offense to War Machine’s citation of an abusive background, saying, “I grew up abused… I broke the cycle. For him to blame his parents… You own what you buy, and he hurt my baby, and he needs to spend the rest of his life in jail.” Thomas was also direct in his denouncement of War Machine, saying, “I am concerned with how much time the defendant has wasted getting to this point and still to point to how it’s everyone else’s fault. It isn’t. He tried to kill me. Let’s get realistic. He has the background, and he’s done it before. He’s wasted everyone’s time, and I don’t think the minimums should apply.”

The court determined that War Machine broke into Mack’s house on August 8, 2014 and punched and choked Thomas before attacking Mack. Thomas had his nose broken and was bitten, while Mack was left with a fractured rib and a ruptured liver, requiring plastic surgery to repair other cosmetic damages.

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