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Cain Velasquez next court appearance set for March, trial date expected in attempted murder case

Cain Velasquez Arraigned On Trial Charges In Shooting Case Photo by Dai Sugano/Pool Photo/MediaNews Group/Bay Area News Group via Getty Images

Cain Velasquez made his latest appearance in a Santa Clara County, Calif. courtroom on Wednesday as he takes another step towards setting a trial date for his ongoing case, in which he faces multiple charges including attempted murder.

The ex-UFC heavyweight champion appeared alongside his attorney Renee Hessling, who was identified as his counsel ahead of trial, after she had previously been working on the case alongside Mark Geragos.

During the hearing, Hessling and Santa Clara County assistant district attorney Aaron French agreed on a March 8 date for the next appearance, which is where a trial date will be determined.

Velasquez faces multiple charges after he allegedly engaged in an 11-mile high-speed chase back in February while pursuing a car containing Harry Goularte, a man accused of molesting Velasquez’s son at a daycare facility owned by his mother. Velasquez allegedly pursued the vehicle while firing multiple rounds from a .40 caliber handgun.

Goularte’s stepfather Paul Bender was ultimately struck by a bullet and suffered non-life threatening injuries as a result of the alleged attack.

Velasquez was later arrested without incident and charged with attempted, premeditated murder.

As part of his appearance on Wednesday, Velasquez’s attorney also answered a complaint about his recent travel to North Carolina after he was granted bail and then given permission to go to Arizona to compete in a professional wrestling match. Velasquez was then granted permission for another trip to North Carolina, but there was confusion about his GPS monitoring while out of state, which led to the report filed with the judge.

Velasquez had traveled to North Carolina for a charity event held at Fort Bragg where he was joined by fellow UFC veterans Ryan Bader and Dan Henderson.

“I frankly don’t see this as an issue,” Hessling said in court. “I don’t see it as willful, I see it as an honest mistake.”

French noted that Velasquez had been denied bail numerous times before Judge Arthur Bocanegra ultimately ruled to allow him to be released on $1 million bail in November after spending eight months behind bars. French stated that prosecutors “strenuously objected” to his release and added that he should be admonished for his actions to ensure that abides by the rules that allowed him to travel while out on bail.

No actions were taken against Velasquez for the error other than noting that he continue to stay in contact with pre-trial services to prevent any further confusion about any allowances he’s granted while on release from jail.

For now, Velasquez will wait until March for his next appearance in court as he takes another step towards a trial date being set for his case.

Velasquez could face life in prison if convicted on all charges.

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