Cain Velasquez appeared in court on Friday for a plea hearing that was ultimately extended until June 30 as lawyers continue to work through discovery issues on the case.
Velasquez, who has been in custody since February, briefly appeared at the hearing with Judge Jose Franco, who granted the continuance as requested by Velasquez’s attorney Mark Geragos.
“As we discussed at side bar, we’re working through discovery issues and we need set with the court’s blessing for June 30,” Geragos said in court. “If we can’t work out our discovery issues, I’ll follow the court’s procedures for the other courtroom hopefully before that date but this is the reserve date in this court.”
Discovery is essentially an exchange of information between parties about witnesses and evidence that may be presented at trial.
This is the third continuance granted for the plea hearing in the case.
Velasquez was initially arrested on Feb. 28 after he allegedly engaged in a high-speed pursuit of a car carrying Harry Goularte, who is accused of molesting a close relative of the ex-UFC heavyweight champion. Velasquez allegedly fired multiple rounds from a .40 caliber handgun at the vehicle with Goularte’s stepfather Paul Bender suffering non-life threatening injuries after being struck by a bullet.
Goularte, who later pled not guilty to the charges against him, had been released on bail despite objections from the prosecutor in the case.
Police later arrested Velasquez without incident and he’s remained in jail ever since.
He’s twice been denied bail in the case, with presiding Judge Shelyna Brown condemning Velasquez’s actions as a “reckless disregard for human life.”
Since his arrest, Velasquez has received overwhelming support from the mixed martial arts community with multiple letters written on his behalf, including one from UFC president Dana White ahead of his initial arraignment in March.
If convicted of all charges, Velasquez could face up to 20 years to life in prison.