Cain Velasquez was granted $1 million bail on Tuesday after eight months in prison as he awaits trial for attempted murder.
Police in San Jose, Calif., say the former UFC heavyweight champion shot at a car carrying Harry Eugene Goularte, 43, accused of assaulting an elderly Velasquez family member. 4 years old. Velsaquez faces multiple gun-related charges in addition to his attempted murder charge.
Velasquez has been incarcerated since his February 28 arrest. Police say Velsaquez engaged in an 11-mile car chase near San Jose before firing multiple shots with a .40 caliber pistol into a vehicle carrying Goularte, his mother Patricia Goularte and his stepfather. Paul Bender. A bullet hit Bender in the arm and chest. Bender survived his injuries.
Judge Shelyna Brown had previously denied Velasquez bail three times. Judge Arthur Bocanegra oversaw Tuesday’s preliminary hearing in a Santa Clara County courtroom and granted Velaszquez bail alongside a ruling that the case will go to trial.
“Mr. Velasquez, I would not release you if I were not convinced that when released at that time, eight months later, you would be a danger to Harry Goularte mainly, Patricia Goularte or Paul Bender”, Bocanegra said, according to court documents obtained by MMA Junkie. “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, your daughter, your family. not prove otherwise.”
“I won’t, your honor,” Velasquez replied.
Bocanegra has determined that Velasquez, who has no prior history or family ties, is not a flight risk. He also took into account the overwhelming support for Velasquez in the MMA community, many of whom were present at the hearing and had written letters to the court, KRON reports. Bocanegra Velasquez ordered house arrest, GPS monitoring and outpatient counselling. He also ordered Velasquez to stay away from Goularte and his family.
The alleged shooting took place after Goularte was released for the crime of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14. According to the San Jose Mercury News, a judge granted him a supervised release despite objections from prosecutors.
According to court documents obtained by ESPN, Velasquez’s parent told police that Goularte took him to a daycare center bathroom on February 24 and touched his genitals. The child told police he had seen other children enter the bathroom with Goularte and that Goularte had done this with him “100 times”. Goularte has denied any wrongdoing and is free without bond. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in his own criminal case on November 14.
According to KRON, prosecutor Aaron French challenged Velaszquez’s bail.
“The defense is trying to play on the emotions of the court by saying it’s unfair that Mr. Velasquez is in custody and that Harry Goularte is not in custody,” French said, according to KRON.
Goularte refused to testify at the hearing while invoking his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, KRON reports. A date for Velasquez’s trial has not been set.
Velasquez, 40, competed in the UFC from 2006-19, compiling a 14-3 record as a heavyweight. He beat Brock Lesnar for the heavyweight championship in 2010 before losing his belt to Junior dos Santos a year later. He beat dos Santos in 2012 to reclaim the belt and successfully defended it twice before losing to Fabricio Werdum in 2015.
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