Join Date: Feb 2008
Not to necro, but the transcript is here. Pretty good read. Turns out the judge giving him jail time was less about being sure he was on steroids (though she does ask that he be tested as a condition of his probation) and more about the victim's testimony.
CLARK COUNTY, NEVADA
STATE OF NEVADA,
WAR MACHINE, aka, JONATHAN PAUL KOPPENHAVER,
CASE NO. C276252-1
BEFORE THE HONORABLE VALERIE ADAIR, DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2012
RECORDERíS TRANSCRIPT OF HEARING RE:
FOR THE STATE: SHAWN A. MORGAN, ESQ.
Deputy District Attorney
FOR THE DEFENDANT: GARRETT T. OGATA, ESQ.
RECORDED: LAS VEGAS, CLARK COUNTY, NV., THURS., FEB. 2, 2012
THE COURT: State versus War Machine.
MR. MORGAN: Courtís indulgence.
Judge, we do have a speaker; Iíd ask that he be able to speak last.
THE COURT: Thatís fine.
And, Mr. Morgan, whatís the Stateís position? No opposition to probation but has retained the right to argue all terms and conditions, and Iím assuming the underlying sentence as well?
MR. MORGAN: Thatís correct, Judge. I just -- I understand that weíre asking for probation, and I would ask that it be on the felony given the facts of this case, the extensive damage to the victim, and I think itís appropriate given all the facts as well as when you look at the defendantís other criminal history and his two prior violent felony convictions. With that Iíd submit it.
THE COURT: And Iím assuming the 61,000 and change in restitution reflects the extensive medical bills that the victim had to incur as a result of this?
MR. MORGAN: Thatís correct, Judge, workmenís comp payout.
THE COURT: All right. Your true name is Koppenhaver but youíve had it legally changed?
THE DEFENDANT: Yeah, I had it legal -- I had to change it for legal reasons. I was getting sued for copyright infringement. Itís my nickname --
THE COURT: Right, you were a fighter?
THE DEFENDANT: Yeah.
THE COURT: All right. What if anything would you like to state to the Court before the Court pronounces sentence against you?
THE DEFENDANT: Well, I just want to say that, you know, like, my lifelong dream was to become a professional athlete and make it to the UFC, all right. I got into the UFC; I had a couple fights. And then when I lost my contract, I got, you know, I battled a lot of depression, and I got real self-destructive, and thereís about -- about two and a half years, three years where I just kinda stopped caring about anything and acted like a jerk, you know. I never had gotten in trouble before, and these three years I just, you know, I went out a lot. I was drinking too much. I was getting in bar fights, and I was just, you know, acting irresponsible and acting stupid.
After this case I actually got into a fight in San Diego, and I served a year straight. I just got released in July. In that year I had a long time to sit there and think, you know. Before itís like I was getting in trouble, getting in trouble, but I was never -- I never got punished, you know. Like if you touch a hot stove and it doesnít burn you, you touch it again, you know. So that year really gave me a lot of time to reflect, and a -- and it remotivated me to get back into my career and do the right things. And since then Iíve been married.
Iíve been out for six months now and havenít been in any trouble. Iíve been doing my anger classes. Iíve been staying sober, and Iíve just been avoiding bars and avoiding alcohol, and just, you know, trying to live life correct. I made a lot of mistakes but that year --
THE COURT: What are you doing to address your alcohol problems, and do you have, like, counseling or AA or --
THE DEFENDANT: No, I didnít have an alcohol problem like that; I just had a problem with -- really it was bars. It was a combination of bars and drinking and my temper and the fact that I just didnít care about anything, you know. I mean, I was being -- I get tested every -- Iím on probation in California so I get tested, you know, once a week for alcohol. I do anger management classes, you know, and Iím just avoiding stuff. Iím staying in the gym, teaching classes, training, hanging out with my wife. Iím just not -- Iíve just changed my lifestyle. Iím just -- Iím not doing that anymore.
THE COURT: Mr. Ogata.
MR. OGATA: Thank you, Judge.
Judge, I think youíve heard it from him. I think itís pretty clear, and in fact, in know that in the time that Iíve know John it actually has changed a lot, drastically. I mean, even from the beginning, you know, there would be missed phone calls when we were supposed to talk on the phone. Now, it seems like he calls before I even get on the phone, before I even say did John call, heís already left messages. And I know that a lot of that is on the side of whatís going on, but, Judge, I think he really -- that year has really set him straight.
I know that he knows now when he fights he fights professionally. He fights in the gym. He fights in the ring. He gets paid for this. He does not need to do these bar fights, stupid bar fights, and I know that his priors, if you look at them, theyíre all bar fights.
We went through the discovery of the medical bills, and that was one of the things that was concerning to me was that amount, but after reviewing it with John and going over this thing, it actually made sense, and he even told me, he says, you know what, I just want to make it right. I want to pay the guy off. I want to do what I need to do for probation. The issue I know with the State is we have no opposition to probation for the felony, but I know itís a wobbler, and I know this is a stretch, Judge, is asking the --
THE COURT: Yeah, you know, youíre really stretching because hereís the thing. You know, heís gotten in trouble before, and, you know, heís a professional fighter --
MR. OGATA: I understand, Judge.
THE COURT: -- and heís picking on people who arenít professional fighters. I mean, itís ridiculous, and he says he wants to -- heís hurting himself. Well, heís not punching himself in the face, I mean, you know, to be blunt. He, you know, heís a professional fighter, and he needs to show, in my view, that heís a tough guy, and he gets drunk, and he picks on people who are not professional fighters. I mean, to me, itís not just some other, you know, drunken, you know, ordinary person like you or Mr. Morgan getting drunk and taking a swing in a bar. Itís a guy whoís trained to really hurt people --
MR. OGATA: I understand, Judge.
THE COURT: -- and, you know, itís a whole different -- whole different thing than just a bar fight in my view. And so, you know, the time has come in my mind, Mr. Ogata, for a felony. And now what weíre talking about is his freedom, I mean, Iíll just be candid with you because, you know, itís great he learned in jail and this and that, but, you know, maybe if he does really well, and heís lucky enough to get probation, you can come see me later, but, you know, again, he, you know, I mean, I donít really know why it took him a year of sitting in jail to figure out, oh, hey, Iím a professional fighter; I really shouldnít be popping innocent people in the face, you know, because I get drunk and angry and I have a temper. You know, to me that should have been -- he should have been a little more self-aware down the road.
And frankly, you know, wanting to be a professional fighter, you know, is like, kind of like wanting to be a rock star or a movie star, something like that. Not everybody gets to do it. So the fact that his career was, you know, going sideways a little bit, in my view is no justification, you know, for this kind of violence, and itís repeated violence. So, Iíll just be candid with you, Mr. Ogata, thatís where we are when I looked at this.
MR. OGATA: So my request of reducing it down to a gross misdemeanor --
THE COURT: Well, you know, like I said heís --
MR. OGATA: I just wanted to throw it out there, Judge. I know --
THE COURT: -- if heís lucky -- if heís lucky enough to get probation and he does really well, then you can pitch that to the Court. Iím not making any commitments or promises. Weíll see what direction his life takes, you know.
MR. OGATA: I understand, Judge.
THE COURT: But, you know, honestly, you know, heís dangerous, and heís dangerous because of his training and everything like that, and that makes it different than just some person out there getting in bar fights.
MR. OGATA: I understand, Your Honor.
THE COURT: In my view.
MR. OGATA: I think Mr. Koppenhaver understands that too; weíve discussed that.
THE COURT: All right.
MR. MORGAN: Judge, we do have a speaker.
THE COURT: I know. Thank you. Itís Mr. Miller.
Is Mr. Miller here?
MR. MORGAN: Yes, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Sir, I need you to just follow my marshal and come up, you know, right here. Just right up here to the witness stand. And please, sir, remain standing facing our court clerk, and she will administer the oath to you.
THE CLERK: Please be seated, and would you please state and spell your name.
THE SPEAKER: Steven Edward Miller, S-t-e-v-e-n, Edward, E-d-w-a-r-d, Miller, M-i-l-l-e-r.
THE COURT: All right, sir. Thank you for being here. What would you like to say today?
THE SPEAKER: Iíd like to say thereís -- first of all thereís a couple of corrections that need to be said from the opening from what I heard. First of all, itís not a workerís comp issue. The State picked it up because the company I worked for did not have valid workerís comp insurance. So therefore I went 90 days after being kicked out of a hospital and not treated and getting the surgeries that I needed to where I was supposed to go to an assisted living facility to learn how to walk again because I had a broken left knee, fractured right ankle, torn ligaments in my right knee, along with a cut and the fracture over the bottom of my right eye. None of this was done. I still canít do my duties at work properly.
And to sit there and say this was a drunken bar fight, we were both at work that night. I witnessed you go out and get into a fight with a customer. I took it to management. Management had you up at the front. I was dismissed to go back to the door where I work. You waited for me to turn to the side to walk away before you punched me. Plain and simple. Preyed on somebody as a professional that wasnít even facing you. Okay.
Now, when you sit there and say, okay, yeah, the year, you sat there and had a year to think about it and everything else, all I have to ask is did you hear any remorse, any at all? If you had a year knowing that this date was coming up, I would think you would come up with a better excuse than what you had, honestly.
I mean, I still -- I donít know what they can do with my knee. I canít even see a doctor seeing me on a medical lien because the case was dismissed out of bankruptcy court where the company was lost.
THE COURT: Oh, okay. So you did pursue a civil remedy --
THE SPEAKER: Yes. So thereís nothing left. Thereís nothing else there. This is it.
THE COURT: All right. So no doctor will take it on a lien for your civil case?
THE SPEAKER: Right. I canít work properly. I canít bend. I wake up in the middle of the night. I donít sleep properly. I donít have the medications that I need, nothing. This has been going on for almost three years.
THE COURT: All right, sir, and what would you like to see happen today?
THE SPEAKER: Well, I sit there and I look at he was on probation from San Diego for another fight. Obviously not a drunken fight; it happened outside of a gym after training. Donít go to a gym training on alcohol. At work, once again, not alcohol related. Everything that his attorney said, none of it makes sense. None of itís the truth. It seems to me that itís all fabricated, something to make you kind of feel a little bit weepy eyed to say, oh, yeah, he can do it on his own, but I know that you see through it.
THE COURT: Let me ask you this. The State in this case negotiated the case -- and in fairness, it was not Mr. Morgan who negotiated it -- and theyíre agreeing to probation for this defendant.
Did you have an opportunity to discuss the negotiation with the State in this case before they entered --
THE SPEAKER: That was not discussed with me or with my attorney thatís in the courtroom as well. That was done totally outside of us, and I would not see probation, like you said, being a professional, going out and having actions like this, knowing the consequences of your actions; I donít see where probation in my mind fits the crime. Basically, I canít do what Iíve done for a living since í94.
THE COURT: And let me ask you this. In the PSI itís talking about just the injury because the Court, you know, we donít get everything that the State has or the defense has. We get what they put in the PSI. Theyíre focusing on the injury to your face, but as -- there obviously was more of a fight where your leg was injured and --
THE SPEAKER: Right. I had a broken left knee to where when I went to the ground my knee twisted. The upper leg turned causing the bottom of the kneecap, the bone to split out where I was supposed to have a pin inserted and have it fixed, but since there was no insurance that never happened. So anytime I turn to my left, thereís no anchor on my knee. It can pop out and just go. Other than that I had a fracture to my right ankle and torn ligaments in my right knee. So my right ankle still gets painful every once in a while because I didnít get all the physical therapy. I didnít have any surgeries that, once again, thereís supposed to be a pin. They were going to go in -- or a plate, whatever it is they were going to do. I know I didnít get treated right because of the insurance thing. So, you know, itís ruined my life.
THE COURT: All right. Thank you for being here.
Does the State have any questions for the victim speaker?
MR. MORGAN: No, Judge.
THE COURT: Mr. Ogata, do you have any questions for the victim speaker?
MR. OGATA: No, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Sir, thank you for being here. And you can just follow my marshal and return to your seat next to your attorney whoís here in court today.
Hereís the thing. As I said, you know, he was a professional, and the victim in this case is a large man, but he, you know, tall man is what I mean, but heís not a professional fighter, and it sounds like he -- to use a colloquialism -- kind of sucker punched him by having his head turned and then hit him. And again, you know, he obviously has issues with anger. I donít know if thereís steroid abuse involved or what or itís just something psychiatrically wrong with him.
I am going to follow the negotiation of probation; however, the time he spent in jail in San Diego is about that victim in San Diego. Weíre about today this victim. So I think he needs to do jail time for this victim not the victim in San Diego because that doesnít, you know, mean a hill of beans to the victim whoís sitting here. So I will go along with the negotiation having said that because there needs to be some punishment for what he did in Nevada and what he did to this victim.
All right. By virtue of your plea of guilty you are hereby adjudged guilty of the felony crime of attempt to commit battery with substantial bodily harm.
In addition to the $25 administrative assessment, the $150 DNA analysis fee and the fact that you must submit to a test for genetic markers, you are sentenced to a minimum term of 18 months in the Nevada Department of Corrections and a maximum of 60 months in the -- Iím sorry, 48 months in the Nevada Department of Corrections; thatís the maximum on this charge, restitution in the amount of $61,114.92.
Your sentence is suspended. You are placed on probation for a period of time not to exceed 5 years. Sir, 5 years is the maximum on probation.
Here are the conditions of your probation. Number 1, youíre going to spend the next year for this crime in the Clark County Detention Center.
Number 2, when youíre released youíre going to complete anger management counseling. What youíre doing in San Diego may satisfy Nevada P and P, if not, youíre going to have to do separate anger management counseling, and I want you in that as soon as youíre released from custody.
Number 2 (sic), youíre not going to have the use, possession or control of alcohol, and I can see you steaming right there right now, the anger. Youíre trying to control yourself. You have a serious issue because the next time you wind up killing somebody, and, you know, youíre going to be in prison for a minimum of 20 years.
THE DEFENDANT: Iím not steaming, maíam.
THE COURT: Well, you look like youíre --
THE DEFENDANT: Iím just nervous. Iím --
THE COURT: Sir, thatís fine. I mean, you know, you know what you need to do. I donít want any alcohol. You canít frequent any establishments that serve alcohol as their primary function, casino bars, freestanding bars, anything like that.
Youíre going to do -- have a substance abuse evaluation. I want that done within 30 days of your release, and youíre going to do whatever counseling is deemed necessary.
Youíre going to obtain lawful, fulltime employment to get this restitution paid. If you can make enough money as a fighter, thatís fine, but again, you know, thatís one of those professional athlete, model, singer, dancer, whatever, you know. Not everybody gets to do that. So you may have to get some other kind of a job to make restitution. That will be as directed by P and P.
I want you tested for the use of anabolic steroids because that in my view may be whatís contributing to your anger problem. Any use of anything like that will be considered a violation of your probation.
And finally, your probation is contingent on your good behavior within the Clark County Detention Center. So if thereís any bad behavior, that will be considered a violation, meaning beating up the other inmates, fighting with the guards, anything like that.
So weíre going to have a status check regarding your behavior in the detention center before I release you on your probation because again, you know, youíre a professional fighter in there, and I donít want any kind of problems in the detention center.
Letís status check it for six months to see how heís doing.
MR. MORGAN: And, Judge, just so the recordís clear, the restitution needs to be ordered to the Division of Industrial Relations not the victim.
THE COURT: All right. You know --
MR. OGATA: Judge, heís requesting if he can get his things in San Diego together because he had to travel here. Heís showed up for every court date for --
THE COURT: Doesnít he have a wife?
MR. OGATA: He does.
THE COURT: Canít she do it?
THE DEFENDANT: My wife -- my wifeís an immigrant from Hungary, and she doesnít have a license, none of that stuff. She doesnít have anyone here but me. Itís just her and I together here. She moved here from Hungary a year ago. And, I mean, like when I did my year in San Diego, I turned myself in. I did the time. There was no problem, you know. I just want to get my stuff in order --
THE COURT: Sir, Iím not anticipating a problem. Iím anticipating that youíre going to be a good inmate, but Iím looking at you; youíre a professional fighter. I just want to make sure you understand that itís not going to be do whatever you do at the Detention Center and then go on your merry way and Iím not monitoring what youíre doing at the Detention Center --
THE DEFENDANT: I understand. Maíam --
THE COURT: -- Ďcause weíve had other professional fighters in the Detention Center, and I just need to know that youíre on your best behavior and not taking advantage of your superior training or whatever.
THE DEFENDANT: Can I say one thing. When I did my year in San Diego I was never involved in one fight.
THE COURT: Thatís good. Then there should be no problems.
THE DEFENDANT: So Iím just letting you know that, you know, I havenít had any problems since then.
THE COURT: Good. Thatís fine then.
MR. OGATA: So the request, Judge, I know that heís complied -- I mean, heís been to every court date that Iíve ever had with him. He will comply with any requirements --
THE COURT: What is it you need to do in San Diego?
THE DEFENDANT: Well, I need to get rid of my car. I want to, like, put my stuff in storage. I want to get everything done, get my wife situated. I mean, we came here thinking that weíre getting probation and that was it. So this is like a shock. Thatís why I might look -- whatever you said I looked like. Iím just nervous. I didnít expect this, and she doesnít expect it, and, you know, my job, I want to get --
THE COURT: Mr. Ogata?
MR. OGATA: Judge, the request is, I mean, if we can get some time for him to get these things together. I know that he can come back and check himself back in.
THE COURT: Hereís the deal. Iíll give you two weeks for a surrender date. Understand this, you donít come back, you get in a fight, you get in trouble, get a DUI, anything like that, youíre going to prison. There is no probation. So basically, you know, the futureís in your hands, you know, and weíll modify this, you know, give you 19 months on the bottom end in prison instead of the Detention Center.
So just appreciate that basically, you know, itís up to you now to come back, not get in trouble, and then weíll, you know, youíll get the opportunity at probation.
THE CLERK: Surrender date is February 16 at 9:30.
THE COURT: Mr. Ogata, is that for you?
MR. OGATA: Thatís it, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Thank you, sir.
MR. OGATA: Thank you, Judge..
And another War Machine post
I went on a lil' rampage for a few years and made a lot of poor choices...it finally all caught up to me last year and I served a year straight in San Diego County Jail. During that year I had a lot of time to think and realize I needed to change. Upon my release over 6 months I did just that.
I have been attending my anger management classes, staying away from the party scene and booze. I have been teaching Kid's MMA Classes and living life the right way. In my professional career I won the biggest fight of my life vs Roger Huerta and became only the 2nd man to ever finish him. I recently signed a contract with @BellatorMMA and had a chance at winning over a 100k in their tournament, a tournament that I will now not be participating in.
Of all the things I have ever gotten in trouble for this one is the dumbest one. The person I fought was a coworker of mine 6'2'' and over 300lbs. He instigated the fight, he came after me. I punched him ONCE and then took him down. During the takedown he injured his knee.
The reason this case had been dragging on so long in the court system is because the DA's office had a WEAK case and my attorney and him were constantly negotiating for a plea bargain. Upon my release from jail I told my attorney that I wanted to get this case over with and get on with my life, put the bs behind me. I agreed to pay a huge fine of $61,000 for his medical bills and signed an agreement for probation and NO JAIL TIME. The DA and myself were both happy with the agreement.
3 weeks after I plead guilty I returned to be sentenced and the Judge Valerie Adair completely disregarded the DA and I's deal, as well as the progress I have made since being incarcerated and learning my lesson and CHANGING.
That was an irresponsible decision on her part.
Jail is supposed to be a tool to rehabilitate people and rehabilitation had taken place! WHy would you mess that inertia up? Why not give me a suspended sentence and a chance to continue proving myself?
She scolded me and accused me of using steroids, I have NEVER tested positive for them or had an arrest for them in my life! She judged a book by it's cover and that is not just! I deserve to stay free and continue to prove that I am a changed man! Write the Governor and help me! http://gov.nv.gov/contact/governor/
Some people think that they can convey either a philosophy on life or a complex political statement using a signature on the internet. I'm not one of them.