Cain Velasquez is a free man – for now.
A Santa Clara County, Calif., judge granted the former UFC heavyweight champion bail on Tuesday after a preliminary hearing that lasted nearly 13 hours over two days.
“This incident is extremely serious but appears to be an isolated behavior by Mr. Velasquez,” Judge Arthur Bocanegra said. “There’s also a viable heat of passion defense.”
The conditions for Velasquez’s release include $1 million bail, GPS monitoring and meeting an expansive set of conditions – no weapons, outpatient TBI/CTE treatment, counseling, search and seizure conditions, and a protective order to stay at least 300 meters away from alleged victims Harry Goularte, Patricia Goularte and Paul Bender
“Mr. VelazquezI wouldn’t release you if I weren’t convinced that when released at that time, eight months later, you would be a danger mainly to Harry Goularte, Patricia Goularte or Paul Bender,” Bocanegra said. “If you are such a devoted husband and father, I am confident and I have to believe that you will not jeopardize anything that would take you away from your son, from your daughter, from your family. I hope you won’t prove me wrong.
Velasquez replied, “I won’t, your honor.”
District Attorney’s Office prosecutor Aaron French has long argued Velasquez’s actions were reckless and cited the time of day, frequency of traffic and proximity to a charter school. French also indicated that he believed there was nothing stopping Velasquez from “finishing the job.”
Velasquez, 40, has been jailed for more than eight months as he faces a handful of charges, including attempted murder, for allegedly shooting a car carrying Goularte, a man accused of assaulting the son of Velasquez, aged 4, and of hitting Goularte’s stepfather in the arm with a bullet.
His defense attorney, Mark Geragos, had previously requested bail three times, but was closed on each attempt. A written motion submitted to a California court of appeals was also denied. Geragos expressed his relief after the judge’s ruling.
“We are satisfied, and he will be able to go home and start the healing process,” Gergaos said, according to NBC Bay Area. “It’s been a long job, and after eight months he’s finally coming home.”
Geragos later told MMA Junkie in a text message, “It’s been quite a fight, but today is a good day.”
Mark Geragos after @cainmma was released on bail:
— Damian Trujillo (@newsdamian) November 8, 2022
The pre-trial hearing was originally scheduled for the purpose of a judicial review indicating that there was probable cause for the charges to proceed to trial. Five police officers were called as witnesses by the DA on Monday and painted a picture of their views on the alleged incident.
Officers, who had interactions with Velasquez, confirmed his cooperation during the process, including stopping his vehicle and getting to the ground before the lights and sirens, admitting possession of a firearm and submitting to a potential glimpse of his motive. . These details apparently resonated with Judge Bocanegra.
While the prosecution largely directed the events of Monday’s hearing, Velasquez and Geragos had the opportunity to present their own exhibits and motions on Tuesday. While Geragos declined to call a witness, he made two requests. One was to dismiss a charge of attempted premeditated murder and another of bail.
The motion to dismiss was denied, but the bond was eventually approved.
Velasquez is due for arraignment on November 21 when he is due back in court.
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