Chael Sonnen received positive news at an amendment hearing in Las Vegas regarding an alleged incident this past December that had him facing multiple charges.
At a hearing Wednesday that took place in Las Vegas Justice Court, prosecutors dropped a felony charge and four misdemeanor counts against Sonnen in relation to an alleged attack committed by Sonnen at a Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas on Dec. 18, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
Sonnen initially was charged with a misdemeanor battery charge in January, but that charge was dismissed without prejudice, which left the option for the charges to be re-filed. In a subsequent court filing on March 14, Sonnen was charged with a felony count of battery by strangulation and 10 misdemeanor counts of battery. He now sees the charges reduced to six misdemeanor counts after Wednesday’s hearing.
State prosecutors filed an amended criminal complaint on Tuesday and requested that the district attorney’s office review the case in light of the new March 14 charges. On Wednesday, Sonnen’s defense attorney, Dayvid Figler, said he believes the court “realized that the more appropriate way to move forward would be with this amended complaint.”
Sonnen is accused of assaulting Dr. Christopher Stellpflug and Julie Stellpflug as well as several security guards and hotel guests who intervened during the alleged incident. He was not arrested.
“Sonnen was issued a battery citation for each individual victim, then escorted off property,” Hadfield wrote in a statement to MMA Fighting on Dec. 20. “Due to the fact the misdemeanors were committed outside of a police officer’s presence, an arrest was not conducted.”
The Stellpflugs filed their own lawsuit against Sonnen on March 25, seeking damages in excess of $15,000 for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. On Wednesday, the attorney for the Stellpflugs, Kory Kaplan, protested the reduction of charges and claimed that the decision contradicted a previous statement from prosecutors.
According to the lawsuit obtained by MMA Fighting, Sonnen allegedly attacked the Stellpflugs in a hallway at the Four Seasons Hotel. The couple claims Sonnen was intoxicated, wearing bloody clothes, and “uttering unintelligible noises.” Sonnen allegedly confronted Christopher and “proceeded to viciously attack Dr. Stellpflug, punching him multiple times in the head with a closed fist” and then choking him. Sonnen is also accused of punching Julie in the face multiple times with an open fist.
According to the lawsuit, another hotel guest that was allegedly attacked earlier by Sonnen earlier was the first to alert security. A violent altercation allegedly followed, with Sonnen accused of punching, kneeing, and kicking the guards.
According to a police incident report acquired by the Las Vegas Review Journal, Sonnen’s wife Brittany told police that she had no recollection of the incident due to her having taken an Ambien earlier in the day and that she was asleep at the time. She appeared to be injured, though the nature of the injuries was unclear and she denied it was due to a domestic dispute.
Sonnen is a former MMA star who challenged for UFC titles on three occasions and was also a standout for Bellator. He last competed in June 2019 and currently serves as an analyst for ESPN, though the television network told ESPN.com that Sonnen is currently suspended “as we explore the details of these serious charges.”