Jonathan Paul Koppenhaver – a former mixed martial arts fighter better known by the unfortunately apt nickname War Machine – was found guilty yesterday of kidnapping, beating and sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend over several months in 2014.
The ex-brawler was also convicted on charges of beating up a male friend of Christy Mack after he found the two of them together in her bedroom.
While jurors ended up in a deadlock in regard to two attempted-murder counts against War Machine, they convicted him of 29 total felonies stemming from attacks on Mack and Corey Thomas.
Mack spent eight hours on the witness stand during the trial, often crying as she said she was beaten and raped by Koppenhaver numerous times in the months prior to the attack on her and Thomas.
Back in August of 2014, Mack released a lengthy statement on these assaults, providing the public with stomach-turning photos of what War Machine did to her.
After making a run for it, War Machine was eventually arrested in a hotel room outside Los Angeles shortly after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Just days before his verdict was reached, meanwhile, War Machine released a lengthy statement of his own.
It was posted on Twitter and it sort of found him taking responsibility for his actions.
But it mostly was used by Koppenhaver to paint himself as some kind of instrument of God, while also serving as a denial to a number of the charges against him.
“Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all,” War Machine started his Tweet storm on March 15, adding:
“Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me the foremost, Jesus might demonstrate his perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in him for eternal life – 1 Timothy 1:15-16.”
He then continued as follows:
“I’ve offered to sign any number of plea agreements, I’ve begged for the opportunity to take a lie detector test, I’ve done everything in my power to resolve this issue, but the D.A. wants a media circus… So here we go.
“It’s no mystery; I found the woman I loved in bed with another man and I made some poor choices, Choices that I feel horrible for, regret and know that I must be punished for…
“But I DIDN’T do all the crap they’re accusing me of and I do not deserve that crazy amount of time being thrown at me.”
As part of the case against War Machine, the jury saw photos of Mack with a broken nose, missing teeth, fractured eye socket and leg injuries. She also suffered a lacerated liver.
The kidnapping and sexual assault with a weapon charges each could earn the fighter up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
“I know not what the outcome of this trial will be, it’s in gods hands,” the now-convicted felon wrote last week.
“Whatever that outcome may be, however, this has been a huge blessing in my life. God has used this for good; I have found him, submitted to him, and have been transformed in miraculous ways.
“For the first time in my life that huge hole in my heart and soul has been filled and I am at peace… I wouldn’t trade it for anything. All that’s left is to learn where god wants me to serve him.”
As you can read above, War Machine (again, unaware of his fate at the time) concluded:
Will I be his witness behind these walls and used to shepherd the lost sheep within the prison system?
Or does God plan for me once again to be free, and to show the entire world the infinite power Jesus has to transform even the most lost of men?
May his will be done. I want to thank my good friend and attorney @Brandon_sua for his hard work and for sticking by my side when most all have fled to my beautiful sisters and to all the wonderful pen pals who I now consider my friends thanks for everything.
Sentencing has been scheduled for June 5.