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Ex-MMA fighter convicted

A Las Vegas jury on Monday found a former mixed martial arts fighter known as War Machine guilty of kidnapping and sexually assaulting his porn actress ex-girlfriend.

Jurors deadlocked Monday on two attempted-murder charges against Jonathan Paul Koppenhaver, but convicted him of a total of 29 counts. He could face up to life in prison.

Koppenhaver, 35, went by his birth name during the two-week trial but had legally changed it to War Machine during his 19-fight MMA career.

Defence attorney Jay Leiderman this week conceded Koppenhaver's guilt on eight lesser domestic battery charges, including punching and injuring ex-girlfriend Christy Mack. Koppenhaver also was charged with threatening her male friend Corey Thomas when he found them together in bed in 2014.

"He did it. He used fists to punch the face," Leiderman said Thursday of the attacks on Mack.

The Associated Press normally does not identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault but Mack gave permission to use her name.

In closing arguments, Leiderman suggested that the jury never learned many things about the August 2014 attack at Mack's home, including Koppenhaver's state of mind, and therefore could not know if he intended to commit a crime.

The defence attorney characterized Koppenhaver as a "raging bull" with brain injuries from his fighting career and emotions inflamed by the use of steroids and non-prescription stimulant and antidepressant drugs that combined could have caused mood swings and violence that Leiderman termed "roid rage."

Mack, 24, spent eight hours on the witness stand, crying as she said she was beaten and raped by Koppenhaver in the months before the attack on her and Thomas.

"'Now I have to kill you because people saw you trying to escape,'" she recalled Koppenhaver saying after an incident sparked by his dislike of a wig and decorative teeth she wore. "'Now I have to take you out to the desert and kill you.'"



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