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Back in August 2014, MMA fighter Jonathan Koppenhaver, a.k.a. War Machine, allegedly took part in a horrific incident involving his ex-girlfriend Christy Mack and her then-boyfriend Corey Thomas. According to reports, Koppenhaver attacked Mack and Thomas inside of Mack’s bedroom after breaking into her home. He allegedly bit, punched, and choked Thomas for approximately 12 minutes before letting him leave the house and turning his attention to Mack. Mack sustained a fractured left eye, numerous broken bones in her face, a lacerated liver, several broken ribs, and severe bruising throughout her body during Koppenhaver’s violent attack.
On Monday, Koppenhaver went on trial to answer to more than 30 charges, including attempted murder, kidnapping, and sexual assault, that were filed after he was arrested following the incident. And while outlining exactly what happened between Koppenhaver, Mack, and Thomas during opening statements, the prosecution in the case reportedly revealed that Koppenhaver told Mack he was going to leave her dead that night. According to prosecutors, Koppenhaver stood over Mack and said, "This is it. I’ve got to kill you now."
The prosecution also detailed a history of physical abuse throughout Koppenhaver and Mack’s relationship. They allege that Koppenhaver initially hit Mack with an open hand in the face at the start of their relationship before becoming more and more violent as time went on. They spoke about one specific incident at a mall that ended with Koppenhaver slamming Mack’s head into the dashboard inside of a vehicle.
The defense in the case responded by indicating that it plans to discuss how Mack encouraged Koppenhaver to help her act out "rape fantasies" during their relationship. According to Koppenhaver’s lawyer, Mack told the MMA fighter that she wanted him to surprise her during their sexual encounters. The lawyer also told jurors in the case that Koppenhaver and Mack were two "damaged" people who had been "swallowed up by the personas they have created for themselves."
Thomas himself took the stand to tell his side of the story. He spoke about how Koppenhaver jumped on him after bursting into Mack’s bedroom and started biting him on his face before putting him into a chokehold. He said he was eventually able to escape Koppenhaver's grasp and make his way into a nearby bathroom. But the beating didn’t end until Thomas told Koppenhaver that he wouldn’t snitch if he allowed him to leave the house. Koppenhaver permitted him to go, and that’s when he allegedly started beating Mack.
Thomas is expected to testify again on Tuesday.
If Koppenhaver is found guilty on some of the more serious charges that were filed against him, he could spend the rest of his life in jail. The Las Vegas Review-Journal is following the case closely and has more details on the early parts of the trial.