War Machine Trial Moves Into 8th Day
LAS VEGAS — Testimony resumes Wednesday afternoon in Day 8 of the War Machine trial.
The state of Nevada has rested its case, and now War Machine’s defense team has brought on witnesses to testify.
War Machine, a martial arts fighter who dabbled in porn, stands accused of 34 felony counts, including sexual assault, attempted murder and battery, in the August 2014 beating of former adult star and girlfriend Christy Mack and her friend, Corey Thomas.
In the attack, Mack sustained a broken nose, a blowout fracture to her eye, broken ribs, two broken teeth, a lacerated liver and bruises.
Yesterday, in Day 7, the defense called martial arts fighter Herman Terrado, an acquaintance of War Machine who had sparred with him.
Terrado testified on various choke holds, and even demonstrated to the jury how fighters can hold someone in submission. He showed off the various holds on War Machine defense attorney Brandon Sua, who, coincidently, also is a trained martial arts fighter.
Terrado also testified that War Machine had taken steroids to help bulk up for matches prior to his arrest.
On Day 6, the defense also called oral surgeon Dr. Steven Saxe as an expert witness.
Saxe testified that, in his opinion, numerous surgeries to correct Mack’s injuries were unnecessary. He said that the only medically necessary surgery Mack required was tooth replacement and that additional procedures likely were elective and for cosmetic reasons.
Also during Day 6 of the trial, Mack’s mother took the stand as the last witness for the state’s case. Mack’s mother, Erin Mackinday, testified that she witnessed increasing episodes of violence between War Machine and her daughter.
When asked if she regretted not calling police after witnessing violence, Mackinday, looking directly at War Machine, said, “no … I wish I would have shot you.”
Mack, who took the witness stand last week, elaborated on the dark details about the physical abuse she suffered at the hands of War Machine.
“At first, they weren’t that frequent — maybe once a month — but as our relationship progressed the violence progressed,” Mack testified.
Mack also testified that War Machine sawed off her hair with a knife during the attack and told her that he would have to kill her and leave her in the desert.
The violence described in the state’s case against War Machine isn’t representative of that in the adult entertainment biz, according to longtime industry attorney Paul Cambria.
“I have worked with and represented many of the biggest adult performers through many of their relationships and never found any higher incidence of domestic abuse than occurs in the population at large,” Cambria told XBIZ. “This case should not be taken as a reflection of the adult performer community but simply a reflection of the two people involved.”
Nonetheless, Cambria indicated that War Machine likely is going to prison.
“The injuries are there, so it’s just a matter of the jury believing the testimony as to how they got there in order for them to convict,” Cambria said. “If convicted, I would anticipate a stiff sentence especially since the O.J. situation has changed the entire complexion of dealing with alleged domestic violence.”
Another industry attorney, Allan Gelbard, said that he’s “guardedly optimistic” that the jury will not consider Mack’s occupation when it decides on guilt or innocence.
“It shouldn’t and if I were a prosecutor, I would have asked for a jury instruction on that point, Gelbard told XBIZ. “There’s no question she was injured badly, so all the jury needs to find is that he did it and he goes to jail — probably for quite some time."
Industry attorney Corey Silverstein noted that over the course of his legal career he has learned that predicting jury verdicts is “damn near impossible.” Silverstein, like Gelbard and Cambria, aren’t parties to the criminal case.
But “if the allegations ultimately prove true, then [War Machine] should be punished to the full extent of the law,” Silverstein told XBIZ. “No person should ever intentionally cause physical injury to another person. Mack’s injuries are horrendous and I cannot possibly imagine the physical and psychological pain that she has sustained.
Silverstein said that the fact that she is an adult entertainment performer should have no bearing on the outcome of the case.
“There is no pass or exception for domestic violence or any type of violence because someone is an adult entertainment performer,” he said. “Adult entertainment performers should not be left to fear that their profession will limit their ability to be protected by existing law.”
Industry attorney Marc Randazza, who also is a third-party observer, said: "If he ever sees the light of day from anywhere but a prison yard again, I am going to be really surprised."
LawNewz.com has been covering the live proceedings of the trial on its website. Trial today begins at 12:30 p.m. (PDT).
Pictured: War Machine