Cain Velasquez pleads not guilty to attempted murder charge

Cain Velasquez pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and 10 other gun-related charges on Friday at Santa Clara County court in San Jose, Calif., according to ESPN

The former UFC heavyweight champion has been in jail since Feb. 28, stemming from an incident in which he reportedly chased and fired at a man accused of sexually abusing a 4-year-old family member of Velasquez’s. 

A pretrial hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 26. 

Velasquez, 39, was allegedly aiming to shoot Harry Eugene Goularte when firing upon a pickup truck after a high-speed chase through three Silicon Valley cities. Instead Velazquez, who fired a .40-caliber pistol according to the report, struck Goularte’s stepfather, Paul Bender, while he was driving, wounding him in the arm and torso. Bender is expected to survive his injuries. 

Cain Velasquez, left, sits with his attorney Mark Geragos.
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Cain Velasquez
Cain Velasquez faces charges of attempted murder.
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Goularte, 43, has since been arraigned on felony count of a lewd and lascivious act with a child under the age of 14, according to The Denver Post. He was released from custody on Feb. 25 without bail. 

Represented by celebrity attorney Mark Geragos, Velasquez has been denied bail three separate times. 

“They’re trying to desperately run away from the fact that the system failed Cain,” Geragos told ESPN. “They don’t want to get into that. They want to try a case that’s divorced from reality.” 

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Protestors gather outside Santa Clara County Hall of Justice to support Cain Velasquez.
Protestors gather outside Santa Clara County Hall of Justice to support Cain Velasquez.
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The child was allegedly abused by Goularte at a day care center owned by Goularte’s mother, Patricia, where Goularte also lived. Velasquez’s family has filed a negligence and sexual battery lawsuit against Goualrte, Patricia and Bender. Goularte is scheduled to a court date on Sept. 20 after pleading guilty to his criminal charge. 

A two-time champion, Velazquez compiled a 14-3 record throughout his UFC career. 

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