Christy Mack is known for her involvement in the adult entertainment industry. A career that is often looked upon with not so flattering eyes. Jonathan Paul Koppenhaver was a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter who legal changed his name to “War Machine,” a nicknamed bestowed upon him for her ferociousness in and out of the cage.
It was no surprise that two high profile, Las Vegas residents would have their relationship put on displace for the world to see. However, as tumultuous as it was, Christy Mack was nearly murdered by her former lover who had a history of prior assault charges. Photos that are too gruesome to show here have been all over the internet after these events took place on August 7, 2014.
Mack was brave enough to come forward to not only press charges (which too few people do), but to also have it documented on Investigation Discovery’s Sin City Justice, produced by MY Entertainment.
Unfortunately for Mack, who had to emotionally relive these traumatic events repeatedly throughout the trial, her character and career choices were called into question in a classic situation where the victim is turned into the defendant.
“This was not an isolated incident, a man with no previous history of violence. This was a really dangerous guy who had a history of violence, he had three prior felony convictions and the convictions involved violence dating back to 2009, he was convicted here in Las Vegas attempted battery with substantial bodily harm. He hurt somebody pretty bad 7 years ago and then the next year in San Diego he gets another assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury conviction. Then a forced assault with a deadly weapon and a fourth misdemeanor for domestic violence . That’s all in his history and when you look at those pictures and the old saying, ‘a picture tells a thousand words,’ I don’t care what you are or who you are, nobody deserves a beating like that, let alone a woman,” said Clark County District Attorney, Steven Wolfson, whose team prosecuted the case.
War Machine had broken into Mack’s house to find her in bed with her new boyfriend, causing him to fly into a rage, leaving Mack unrecognizable following a roughly 2-hour beat down. Mack made a blood curdling and desperate call for help to the authorities while her boyfriend was being assaulted by War Machine. The former MMA fighter was charged with 34 count ranging from kidnapping, sexual assault and attempted murder.
“He showed no remorse during the trial. He was in custody for a couple of years awaiting trial. He was belligerent. He was rude to the prosecutors, the judge, etc. So at the end of the day, I think the judge gave a obviously a stiff sentence but well deserving,” said Wolfson of the 35-year-old War Machine, who will not be eligible for parlor until he is 71 years old.
According to the series Sin City Justice, Chief Deputy District Attorney, Jaqueline Bluth states the defense would use his previous head injuries as a reason for him not making, “sound decisions.” She also states that Mack has been previous raped and sexually assaulted by War Machine throughout their on-again-off-again relationship, which could have been a problem for the prosecution in the eyes of the jury (luckily, it was not the case). Bluth also claims in the episode that during the reading of the charges, War Machine was blowing her kisses while talking about sexual assault and laughed when they mentioned him having raped Mack.
“I met Christy for the first time a couple of weeks after the incident. She came in to meet with my prosecutor and I wanted to go over there to let her know that she has the entire support of our office. I was in the court room yesterday (during the sentencing) as was she…you know it’s not easy to have your character attacked and your lifestyle spread out over the front page of the newspapers and the pictures of the beatings but she’s an incredibly strong woman. She cares about other women and she’s a real advocate for women coming forward if they’re the victims of domestic violence,” said Wolfson.
Brandon Sua, a childhood friend and defense attorney for War Machine stated in the episode that War Machine felt remorseful for what transpired and was willing to take responsibility for his action but also claimed that the majority of the 34 counts were for things he did not do, it is difficult to carry that weight on his shoulders. Sua also claimed in the episode that War Machine’s father died in his arms at a young age and his mother wasn’t around for him during his formative years, which played into some of the bad decisions he’s made throughout his life.
“When you look at those pictures you can’t recognize her, but now here we are a couple of years later and she looks great and she seems fine physically, but I don’t know if you can ever recover emotionally from that kind of beating. It’s not easy getting up there to tell the whole nation with television cameras and the media focusing on you. She did great and justice was served and that was the result of her being so strong,” said Wolfson.
Watch the full episode of Sin City Justice: Rage Against the Machine, Thursday, June 8 at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.