Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez pleaded not guilty Friday in an attempted murder case in Santa Clara County, California, his attorney Mark Geragos told ESPN.
Velasquez, 40, is charged with attempted murder and 10 other gun-related charges stemming from an incident where he allegedly chased a man, Harry Goularte – who is accused of assaulting a young relative of Velasquez – and of firing a gun into Goularte’s vehicle, hitting Goularte’s father-in-law, Paul Bender. Velasquez has been in jail since Feb. 28 and has been denied bail three times.
A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for September 26, where Geragos expects to be able to call witnesses to testify, the lawyer said. If the case is not dismissed by then, he said, it will then go to trial, which could begin before the end of the year.
Geragos said the prosecution would not call Goularte to testify at the preliminary hearing or trial, which he called “nonsense.” There will be a motion hearing on August 29 to discuss whether Goularte not being a witness is fair for Velasquez. Geragos said the only charge Velasquez faces that could earn him life in prison is attempted murder and Goularte is the alleged victim of said charge.
Goularte was released on February 25 without bond after being arrested for lewd or lascivious acts on a child under the age of 14.
“They are desperately trying to run away from the fact that the system has failed Cain,” Geragos said. “They don’t want to get into this. They want to judge a case that is far from reality.”
Geragos added that he finds conflict that the same office judges both Velasquez and Goularte in their respective cases, saying he serves “two masters.”
Velasquez followed Goularte’s truck in his own vehicle on an “11-mile high-speed chase” through the city of San Jose, rammed the truck and fired a 40-caliber handgun multiple times in the truck, which carried Goularte, Bender and Goularte. mother, Patricia, according to the prosecutor’s office. Bender was hit by a bullet, although he suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Velasquez’s parent, who is under 10, told police on Feb. 24 that Goularte took them to a daycare center bathroom and touched their genitals, according to a court document. The child said Goularte said not to tell anyone what happened and that this situation could have happened “100 times”. The child told police they also saw Goularte enter the bathroom with other children.
The nursery belongs to Goularte’s mother. She and Goularte have denied any wrongdoing. Velasquez’s family also filed a sexual abuse and neglect lawsuit against Goularte, Patricia and Bender.
Goularte pleaded guilty to his criminal charge in June and is scheduled to appear for another court date on September 20.