Even with the majority of the mixed martial arts world clamoring for Cain Velasquez’s release, the courts of San Jose, California, felt differently. On Monday, the former UFC heavyweight champion was denied bond by Judge Shelyna Brown.
It was the second time that Velasquez’s request for bond was denied for the attempted murder charges among the ten charges he is facing. This time happened during a hearing at the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice in San Jose.
Velasquez is charged with firing a .40 caliber handgun while driving on a highway in San Jose at a car carrying Harry Goularte, who is accused of molesting Velasquez’s 4-year-old son. The driver, who was not Goularte, was shot and lived.
Oxymoronic Silver Lining
The MMA star’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, who has represented stars like Michael Jackson, Chris Brown, and Winona Ryder, although discouraged for his client, also sees a potential silver lining.
“Obviously, I respectfully disagree,” Geragos said on Monday to MMA Junkie. “I think the court has ruled on the facts of the law. However, if there is any kind of of a silver lining, it’s that the court opined he has a viable defense.”
“There is a degree of irony in that the accused pedophile and his presumed co-conspirators are out there trying to claim the mantle of victim,” Geragos added. “I’ll leave it at that. I always prefer having a client out, but Cain is strong. I look forward to vindicating him.”
Judge Brown reportedly reviewed the potential of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) or brain degeneration, caused by repeated head traumas, of the fighter as relevant in a trial case.
Geragos asserted that medical evaluations of Velasquez showed evidence of traumatic brain injury during Monday’s hearing. The judge stated that brain injuries “might be a suitable defense or a pertinent defense or something that should be considered for mitigation.”
However, the man Velasquez reportedly shot, Paul Bender, also reportedly spoke out on Monday. The 64-year-old is the stepfather of Harry Goularte and the driver of the Chevy Silverado that Velasquez allegedly rammed with his Ford F250 during a high-speed chase.
The Victim Speaks
“Good morning, your honor. My name is Paul Bender. I am the person who was driving the truck and the person shot by Cain Velasquez (on) February 28th, 2022,” Bender reportedly said in court.
“We were simply following a court order to get a GPS monitoring device for Harry when Cain Velasquez started following us. He shot at us and chased us at speeds over a hundred miles an hour. When we came to a stop near a school, Cain Velasquez shot at us again, severing my brachial artery and nerve. I have lost the use of three fingers and can no longer work because I could not pass my (Department of Transportation) physical. Without the use of my right hand, we do not know if this loss is permanent.
This is the attorney for Paul Bender, the man who Cain Velasquez allegedly shot in the arm. He said Bender and his wife have been threatened and followed by Cain's supporters. "They are fearful for their lives," attorney Patrick Steinfeld said. pic.twitter.com/NiJMScT7jM
— Amy Larson (@AmyLarson25) May 17, 2022
“Cain Velasquez has no respect for human life. He could’ve easily shot the family in the car next to us, innocent pedestrians, or even young children. Cain Velasquez does not care who sees him do this. He does not care about the rule of law and has no respect for our judicial system. If given the opportunity, I believe he will try to finish what he started. I am fearful for my life, as well as for the lives of my family. No amount of bail or GPS monitor will stop Cain Velasquez. Respectfully, your honor, I ask that you please help keep my family safe and our community safe from Cain Velasquez and deny his request for bail.”
Cain Velasquez will remain behind bars after Judge Shelyna Brown denied a second request for bail this morning.
"This was such a reckless, disregard for human life," she said.
Full story coming to MMA Junkie. pic.twitter.com/UOiHh1oR4O
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) May 16, 2022
With the issue of protecting your child against an alleged child molester and retribution or rough justice, Velasquez is fighting an uphill battle. However, he might have found a defense that steers into one of the most significant issues for athletes in combat sports, mental health.