In 2014, the MMA fighter War Machine (previously Jonathan Paul Koppenhaver before legally changing his name during his career in fighting) committed a series of crimes against his ex-girlfriend Christy Mack (full name Christine Mackinday) that would leave her with a startling number of serious injuries.
The incident unfolded in August of 2014, as War Machine burst into his ex-girlfriend’s bedroom to find her with Corey Thomas, her then lover. Abruptly, the former MMA fighter began a vicious assault on Thomas, whereupon he bit the man and placed him in a chokehold. As Thomas testified in court:“He bit me there on the cheek and I could feel the bite. “And once it registered I was getting bitten, then I put my hands back to try to break him off my face and then he hit me on the arm.“I’m looking up at the ceiling thinking to myself ‘I’m going to die in Christy’s bathroom. That’s not how I’m going out.”
It was then that War Machine turned his attention to Mack, conducting a brutal assault that left her with horrific injuries including a broken nose and teeth, a fractured eye socket and a lacerated liver. The Daily Mail reports that as the attack unfolded, the former MMA fighter told her: “This is it. I’ve got to kill you now.”Now, War Machine has been sentenced for his crimes.War Machine was found not guilty on three chargers; of burglary with use of a deadly weapon, sexually motivated coercion and battery with intent to commit sexual assault. The jury was deadlocked on two further charges; attempted murder and attempted murder with use of a deadly weapon. However, on 29 of the 34 charges, he was found guilty – and will receive a life prison sentence with the possibility of parole 36 years from now.
Christine Mackinday gave an emotionally charged statement in court in which she told District Judge Elissa Cadish that she would be afraid for her life if War Machine were to ever be released from prison: “I do know when he gets out, he will kill me,” came her damning assessment.War Machine did appear to show contrition for his actions in his own statement, telling the court: “Not a day goes by that I don’t seriously regret all those things that I did. I was a very, very lost, very empty person.”
He went on to say that he believes there is something “not right” with his head, continuing: “I’ve known that a long time and I’ve hated it.”
The former MMA fighter is believed to have drawn parallels to the now deceased former NFL player Aaron Hernandez in his statement, telling the court;“I should have killed myself by now. There’s no reason right now that I shouldn’t be in the dirt right now lying next to Aaron Hernandez. That’s 100 percent true.”Despite citing depression and anxiety as a cause for his problems, War Machine says that, having found God, he has become a new person. He hopes that Mack will one day write to him or visit him so that he can apologise for his actions.