Former UFC heavyweight Cain Velazquez reportedly pleaded not guilty in an attempted murder case Friday.
The 40-year-old was arrested in February and is being charged with attempted murder and other gun-related charges.
Velasquez has been denied bail on three separate occasions since being jailed following the incident that led to the victim being taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
He chased a pickup carrying Harry Goularte, who is accused of sexually abusing a 4-year-old family member, through busy streets in three Silicon Valley cities, ramming the vehicle with his own pickup truck during an 11-mile (18-kilometer) high-speed chase, prosecutors said.
Velasquez fired a .40-caliber pistol at the vehicle several times, wounding Goularte’s stepfather, Paul Bender, who was driving, in his arm and torso, prosecutors said.
Velasquez has now pleaded not guilty to the charges, according to ESPN, and a pre-trial hearing is scheduled for September 26.
His attorney Mark Geragos is expected reportedly to be able to get witnesses to testify but if the case is not dismissed at that point it would then go to trial.
The trial could begin before the end of the year.
Former UFC Champion Cain Velasquez (left) reportedly pleaded not guilty in an attempted murder case Friday after chasing Harry Goularte (right) who is accused of sexually assaulting Velasquez’s young relative
Geragos told ESPN that the prosecution will not be calling Goularte to testify at the pre-trial hearing or the trial.
The attorney called it ‘nonsense’ as he argued that Goularte is the victim of the one charge that could get Velasquez life in prison, which is attempted murder.
A motion hearing will be held August 29 to discuss whether Goularte not appearing as a witness will be fair to Velasquez.
‘They’re trying to desperately run away from the fact that the system failed Cain,’ Geragos told ESPN.
‘They don’t want to get into that. They want to try a case that’s divorced from reality.’
Velasquez’s attorney, Mark Geragos (right) reportedly said it was ‘nonsense’ that the prosecution will not be calling Goularte to testify at the pre-trial hearing or the trial
According to documents obtained by MMA Junkie in July, the shooting occurred after the Mexican-American heavyweight learned that his relative had been sexually assaulted ‘hundreds of times over the course of two years by Goularte while he was at a day care, owned by Goularte’s mother.
The relative, who is under 10 years old, told police February 24 that Goularte took them into the bathroom of the day care center and touched their genitals, according to a court document.
They said Goularte had told them not to tell anyone what happened and that this situation might have occurred ‘100 times.’
Goularte pleaded guilty to his criminal charge in June and is scheduled for another court date September 20.
He was released from custody February 25 without bail.