Cain Velasquez pre-trial hearing paused after prosecution and defense questions police officers at scene

MMA Fighting

Cain Velasquez appeared in court on Monday for his first pre-trial hearing on multiple charges, including attempted murder after he allegedly chased and tried to gun down a man accused of molesting his son.

The former UFC heavyweight champion has been in jail for the past eight months after he was first arrested and later denied bail in the case. Velasquez pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

After a full day of testimony on Monday, the court opted to take a recess until Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET.

In court, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office was represented by prosecutor Aaron French, while Velasquez had his attorney Mark Geragos by his side for cross examination with Judge Arthur Bocanegra presiding.

The pre-trial hearing involved the prosecution and defense questioning police officers who arrived on the scene after Velasquez allegedly chased a car carrying Harry Goularte, the person charged with a single felony count for lewd or lascivious act upon a child under age 14. Goularte was joined in the vehicle by his mother Patricia Goularte, who runs a child care center that Velasquez’s son attended, along with her husband Paul Bender.

Bender sustained a gunshot wound during the altercation but suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Three separate police officers from Morgan Hill, Calif., were called to testify — Sergeant Sergio Pires, Corporal Todd Davis and Officer Nathaniel Rodriguez — as they responded to questions about the incident after arriving on the scene.

Sergeant Pires said that he responded to a truck chase, which he testified that he personally witnessed before pursuing the vehicles in question. After the trucks slowed down and stopped, Pires testified that Velasquez stepped out of the rear vehicle to surrender himself without incident.

The prosecution introduced numerous photos into evidence, including those from inside and outside of Velasquez’s truck, which included at least two holes through the windshield that were consistent with bullets firing from inside the cab. Pires also testified to a .40-caliber handgun, an additional magazine and shell casings that were found inside the truck.

Corporal Davis then testified that he arrived on the scene after Velasquez had already been detained. He said he spoke to the alleged victims in the case, including Bender, whom he described as being on a gurney with medical personnel attending to his injured arm. Davis stated that Bender identified the shooter as “Cain Vasquez,” and that he shot at their vehicle twice during the incident.

The third Morgan Hill police officer then testified to a conversation he had with Velasquez after he was detained. Officer Rodriguez said Velasquez told him that his son had been molested while attending Patty’s Childcare — the business owned by Patricia Goularte — and he identified Harry Goularte as the perpetrator.

During cross examination, Rodriguez added that Velasquez told him there were multiple victims of molestation at the daycare in addition to his son. Rodriguez also stated that Velasquez told him that his son’s personality had changed in the aftermath of the alleged molestation.

Rodriguez also told Geragos that Velasquez was cooperative and respectful during their conversation.

The final two police officers called on Monday were from San Jose Police — Yanick Barela Mendes and Scott McNulty.

Both officers testified to information about conversations had with Patricia Goularte and Harry Bender with details about the high-speed pursuit that reportedly exceeded 100 mph. Bender told McNulty that Velasquez fired several shots at their vehicle after pulling up alongside them at an intersection.

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