Former UFC fighter, “War Machine”, has spent the last few years in and out of legal trouble. After his release from the UFC he took to being an adult entertainment actor and habitual bar fighter. He was arrested and charged with assault in southern California and sentenced to a year behind bars. He served his time, got released and took an MMA fight with Roger Huerta that he won.
After defeating Huerta he was picked up by the Bellator promotion, however before he could make his debut, the Nevada State Judicial System got a hold of him and sentenced him to another year in jail for pending assault charges.
Here are the court transcripts from his sentencing:
CLARK COUNTY, NEVADA
STATE OF NEVADA,
WAR MACHINE, aka, JONATHAN PAUL KOPPENHAVER,
CASE NO. C276252-1
BEFORE THE HONORABLE VALERIE ADAIR, DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2012
RECORDER’S TRANSCRIPT OF HEARING RE:
FOR THE STATE: SHAWN A. MORGAN, ESQ.
Deputy District Attorney
FOR THE DEFENDANT: GARRETT T. OGATA, ESQ.
RECORDED: LAS VEGAS, CLARK COUNTY, NV., THURS., FEB. 2, 2012
THE COURT: State versus War Machine.
MR. MORGAN: Court’s indulgence.
Judge, we do have a speaker; I’d ask that he be able to speak last.
THE COURT: That’s fine.
And, Mr. Morgan, what’s the State’s position? No opposition to probation but has retained the right to argue all terms and conditions, and I’m assuming the underlying sentence as well?
MR. MORGAN: That’s correct, Judge. I just — I understand that we’re asking for probation, and I would ask that it be on the felony given the facts of this case, the extensive damage to the victim, and I think it’s appropriate given all the facts as well as when you look at the defendant’s other criminal history and his two prior violent felony convictions. With that I’d submit it.
THE COURT: And I’m assuming the 61,000 and change in restitution reflects the extensive medical bills that the victim had to incur as a result of this?
MR. MORGAN: That’s correct, Judge, workmen’s comp payout.
THE COURT: All right. Your true name is Koppenhaver but you’ve had it legally changed?
THE DEFENDANT: Yeah, I had it legal — I had to change it for legal reasons. I was getting sued for copyright infringement. It’s my nickname —
THE COURT: Right, you were a fighter?
THE DEFENDANT: Yeah.
THE COURT: All right. What if anything would you like to state to the Court before the Court pronounces sentence against you?
THE DEFENDANT: Well, I just want to say that, you know, like, my lifelong dream was to become a professional athlete and make it to the UFC, all right. I got into the UFC; I had a couple fights. And then when I lost my contract, I got, you know, I battled a lot of depression, and I got real self-destructive, and there’s about — about two and a half years, three years where I just kinda stopped caring about anything and acted like a jerk, you know. I never had gotten in trouble before, and these three years I just, you know, I went out a lot. I was drinking too much. I was getting in bar fights, and I was just, you know, acting irresponsible and acting stupid.
After this case I actually got into a fight in San Diego, and I served a year straight. I just got released in July. In that year I had a long time to sit there and think, you know. Before it’s like I was getting in trouble, getting in trouble, but I was never — I never got punished, you know. Like if you touch a hot stove and it doesn’t burn you, you touch it again, you know. So that year really gave me a lot of time to reflect, and a — and it remotivated me to get back into my career and do the right things. And since then I’ve been married.
I’ve been out for six months now and haven’t been in any trouble. I’ve been doing my anger classes. I’ve been staying sober, and I’ve just been avoiding bars and avoiding alcohol, and just, you know, trying to live life correct. I made a lot of mistakes but that year —
THE COURT: What are you doing to address your alcohol problems, and do you have, like, counseling or AA or —
THE DEFENDANT: No, I didn’t have an alcohol problem like that; I just had a problem with — really it was bars. It was a combination of bars and drinking and my temper and the fact that I just didn’t care about anything, you know. I mean, I was being — I get tested every — I’m on probation in California so I get tested, you know, once a week for alcohol. I do anger management classes, you know, and I’m just avoiding stuff. I’m staying in the gym, teaching classes, training, hanging out with my wife. I’m just not — I’ve just changed my lifestyle. I’m just — I’m not doing that anymore.(Continue to next page for sentencing and additional remarks)