Cain Velasquez is currently in jail awaiting trial following the alleged attempted murder of the man who had been arrested for allegedly molesting a young relative of the UFC former champion.
While Velasquez is awaiting a potential release on bond, a lawyer not connected with the case, has given his expert opinion about Velasquez’s chances when his case eventually goes to trial.
“This is not a complicated case,” veteran defense attorney Steve Cooley told MMA Fighting. “Anyone who says it’s nuanced because his motive was to get even for the [alleged] molestation of someone he loved, that that somehow mitigates it — not really.”
The MMA community is overwhelmingly supporting Velasquez, despite his actions, following the shooting. Velasquez was arrested after going on an 11-mile high-speed chase attempting to catch Harry Goularte. In the chase, Velasquez allegedly shot Goularte’s 63-year-old father-in-law Paul Bender who was in the car with Goularte and his mother, on their way to have Goularte fitted for an ankle monitor.
“There’s no defense of, ‘I got mad because he really hurt someone I loved.’” Cooley told the outlet.
Cooley explains that a plea will be the best course of action for Velasquez, who could potentially use brain injury from his career as a possible defense.
“He needs to be mentally evaluated by legitimate medical professionals … because something went wrong with him,” Cooley told the outlet.
An additional attorney pointed out that the fact that the wrong target was injured could also prove detrimental to his case.
“Even if a jury says, ‘We can understand the anger and we can understand how this could lead a normally law-abiding person to react this way,’ there’s really no excuse for him shooting into a car and striking Mr. Bender,” attorney Alison Triessl told MMA Fighting.
Additionally, if the victims in the shooting were unarmed it could also prove to be a hit to Velasquez’s case
“It’s very difficult to see a complete defense here,” defense attorney Javier Rios told the outlet. “Unless the alleged victim was armed with a weapon and attacked [Velasquez] first or threatened [Velasquez] first, which I have not seen, the case looks more and more where you’re just trying to get the best deal you can.”
None of the three lawyers interviewed by outlet sounded hopeful for an easy defense for Velasquez.
“It’s sad,” Cooley told the outlet. “He threw his life away. But you know what, it happens every day. … He threw his life away in a moment of pique, anger, uncontrolled emotion, thinking he could take justice into his own hands.”