War Machine to Appeal Convictions

War Machine to Appeal Convictions
Rhett Pardon

LAS VEGAS — War Machine’s attorney today said that he plans on appealing the guilty verdicts handed down to the former mixed-martial arts fighter who was sentenced on Monday to life in prison.

Jay Leiderman, War Machine’s counsel, said that he’ll appeal the convictions to the Nevada Supreme Court. Yesterday, prior to sentencing, Leiderman argued to the court that War Machine was “unconscious” during the attack and that he was acting “reflexively” when he found former porn star and ex-girlfriend Christy Mack and her friend Corey Thomas in bed.

But Clark County District Judge Elissa Cadish dismissed the motion to arrest judgment primarily because Leiderman’s brief to the court wasn’t submitted at least seven days after the verdicts in March.

Leiderman told XBIZ today that he was “shocked” the challenge to the “unconscious” defense wasn’t granted by Cadish.

The attorney was seeking a retrial at the sentencing hearing, citing War Machine’s past traumatic brain injury, coupled with his anxiety, depression, steroid and adderall use. In a brief to the court, Leiderman said War Machine's actions during the beatings were “less than fully volitional.”

“I feel strongly that the appeal will be successful,” Leiderman said. “We intend to file the notice of appeal within the next few days. 

“We look forward to getting our opening brief in as soon as we can. Justice delayed is justice denied." 

While Leiderman did not lay out his appellate plan to XBIZ, a criminal defendant in Nevada may appeal convictions to the state’s high court for any number of reasons including that the trial was unfair, the guilty verdict was wrong or the sentence was excessive.

The court, in a criminal appeal, only reviews the records and transcripts of what occurred in trial court. Attorneys may not introduce new evidence or testimony during oral arguments or in appellate briefs.

Yesterday's sentencing allows War Machine to apply for parole in 36 years, or when he reaches age 71.

In related news, Mack, who offered victim’s testimony at yesterday’s sentencing of War Machine, came out on social media last night, saying a “dark chapter is over.”

“Today I finally get to put a close to a very dark chapter in my life,” Mack posted on Instagram. “Thank you all for your positivity and love throughout my journey. “It has not been an easy few years, and I value all of your support. I could not have seen this through to the end without knowing that all of this pain is not without purpose.

“My DMs and email have always been, and will continue to be available if you find yourself in need of help or support. Reach out. Believe them when they do reach out. If you hear something, speak out. You are not alone.”

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