SAN JOSE, Calif. – Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez did not enter a plea on charges stemming from an alleged shooting. Instead, lawyer Mark Geragos requested that the plea hearing be pushed back, which was granted by Judge Jose S. Franco.
Velasquez’s appearance before Judge Franco lasted approximately three minutes Tuesday at the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice. Velasquez is scheduled to appear in court May 6 at 9 a.m. local time.
“As we indicated to the judge today, we’re going to file another motion asking that he be released,” Geragos said afterward. “We will do that between now and May 6.”
The hearing lasted approximately seven minutes, with a shackled Velasquez giving his best waves and making a heart with his hands, as he signaled to his loved ones.
The only topic brought up by the judge was the approval of a motion that medical records requested by Aaron French, of the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. Specific details about these medical records were not discussed, though the judge did add a provision at the request of Geragos that the defense see the medical records first, at which point redactions can be requested.
Inside the court, support for Velasquez was evident as dozens of friends, family, teammates, and community members filled the room. More supporters decked out in official T-shirts and displaying signs of “Free Cain” remained outside the room.
Among those in attendance were former UFC champion Daniel Cormier, American Kickboxing head coach Javier Mendez, former Strikeforce champion Josh Thomson, Deron Winn, and other current and former AKA teammates.
#FreeCain movement supporters were out in droves to attend today’s plea hearing for Cain Velasquez in San Jose.
Full story: https://t.co/ek4Wvfr7B9 pic.twitter.com/grV34R5XlG
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) April 12, 2022
Velasquez, 39, faces charges of attempted murder (one count), shooting at a motor vehicle or aircraft (one count), assault with a firearm (three counts), assault with a deadly weapon (three counts), willfully discharging a firearm from a vehicle (one count), and carrying a loaded firearm with intent to commit a felony (one count). If found guilty of attempted murder, Velasquez faces a minimum of 20 years and up to life in prison. He faces additional time if found guilty of other counts.
A few hours before he appeared in court, Velasquez issued his first statement since his arrest as he thanked his supporters on behalf of him and his family.
“Your selfless gestures and kind words have given me strength in my darkest times,” Velasquez wrote.
Velasquez was arrested Feb. 28 after allegedly shooting a man while targeting another man, 43-year-old Harry Goularte, accused of molesting a family member who is also a minor. Velasquez allegedly pursued their truck and rammed his own truck into the side of theirs before firing several shots, one of which struck Goularte’s stepfather in the arm.
At his arraignment March 7, Velasquez was denied bail by Judge Shelyna Brown after the judge determined the “reckless” actions by Velasquez made “the risk too great.” He remains incarcerated at Santa Clara County Main Jail North.
Goularte is expected to have his plea hearing for a charge of “a lewd and lascivious act with a child under the age of 14” at the same courthouse Wednesday. Goularte has been out on bail since shortly after his arrest.