Cain Velasquez pleads not guilty to attempted murder charge

Cain Velasquez pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and 10 other gun-related charges Friday in the Santa Clara County District Court in San Jose, California, according to ESPN.

The former UFC heavyweight champion has been in prison since Feb. 28, following an incident in which he allegedly chased and fired a man accused of sexually assaulting a 4-year-old relative of Velasquez.

A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for September 26.

Velasquez, 39, was reportedly targeted for shooting Harry Eugene Goularte when he shot at a pickup truck after a high-speed chase through three Silicon Valley towns. Instead, Velazquez, who, according to the report, fired a .40-caliber pistol, punched Goularte’s stepfather, Paul Bender, while he was driving, injuring him in the arm and torso. Bender is expected to survive his injuries.

Cain Velasquez, left, sits with his attorney Mark Geragos.
Cain Velasquez
Cain Velasquez is charged with attempted murder.

Goularte, 43, has since been charged with a felony of a lewd and lascivious act with a child under 14, according to The Denver Post. He was released without bail on February 25.

Represented by famed attorney Mark Geragos, Velasquez has been released on bail three times.

“They are desperately trying to run from the fact that the system has failed Cain,” Geragos told ESPN. “They don’t want to go into that. They want to try a case that is separate from reality.”

Protesters gather outside the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice to support Cain Velasquez.
Protesters gather outside the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice to support Cain Velasquez.

The child is said to have been abused by Goularte in a nursery of Goularte’s mother, Patricia, where Goularte also lived. Velasquez’s family has filed a lawsuit for negligence and sexual battery against Goualrte, Patricia and Bender. Goularte is scheduled to face trial on September 20 after pleading guilty to his charges.

Velazquez, a two-time champion, has compiled a 14-3 record during his UFC career.

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