March 20, 2023
Cain Velasquez has been released on bail by the Santa Clara County Judge in an attempted murder case

Cain Velasquez has been released on bail by the Santa Clara County Judge in an attempted murder case

Cain Velasquez is a free man — for now.

A Santa Clara County (California) judge granted the former UFC heavyweight champion bail Tuesday after a pretrial hearing that stretched nearly 13 hours over two days.

“This incident is extremely serious but appears to be isolated behavior on the part of Mr. Velasquez,” Judge Arthur Bocanegra said. “There’s also a useable heat of passion defense.”

Conditions on Velasquez’s release include $1 million bail, GPS monitoring and compliance with enhanced conditions — no weapons, outpatient TBI/CTE treatment, counseling, search and seizure terms, and a protection order, oneself keeping victims Harry Goularte, Patricia Goularte and Paul Bender at least 300 meters from the accused

“Mister. VelasquezI would not release you if I were not convinced that if you were released at this point, eight months later, you would primarily pose a threat to Harry Goularte, Patricia Goularte or Paul Bender,” Bocanegra said. “If you are such a devoted husband and father, I am confident and have to believe that you will not compromise anything that will take you away from your son, your daughter, your family. I hope you don’t prove me wrong.”

Velasquez replied, “I will not, Your Honor.”

District Attorney’s Office prosecutor Aaron French long argued that Velasquez acted recklessly, citing the time of day, traffic frequency and proximity to a charter school. French also stated that he felt there was nothing stopping Velasquez from “finishing the job.”

Velasquez, 40, has been jailed for over eight months while facing a handful of charges including attempted murder for allegedly shooting a car with Goularte, a man accused of molesting Velasquez’s 4-year-old son having, and having hit Goularte’s stepfather in the arm with a bullet.

His defense attorney, Mark Geragos, had previously requested bail three times but was closed on each attempt. A written petition filed with a California appeals court was also denied. Geragos expressed his relief after the judge’s decision.

“We are satisfied and he can go home and start the healing process,” Gergaos said loudly NBC Bay area. “It’s been a long drudgery and after eight months he’s finally going home.”

The pre-trial hearing was originally scheduled to provide a judicial review of whether there was a probable cause for the indictment. Five police officers were summoned by the public prosecutor’s office as witnesses on Monday and drew a picture of their view of the alleged incident.

The officers who had interactions with Velasquez acknowledged his cooperation during the trial, including stopping his vehicle and placing it on the ground in front of lights and sirens, admitting possession of a firearm, and providing potential insight into his motive. These details apparently resonated with Judge Bocanegra.

While prosecutors largely controlled the events of Monday’s hearing, Tuesday gave Velasquez and Geragos an opportunity to present their own exhibits and motions. While Geragos declined to call a witness, he made two motions. One was the dismissal of a first attempted murder charge and one on bail.

The release request was denied, but bail was eventually approved.

Velasquez is scheduled to be charged on November 21 when he is back in court.

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