Cain Velasquez pleads guilty to several charges including attempted murder


Cain Velasquez submitted a not guilty plea Friday on attempted murder and others charges in relation to his alleged high-speed shooting incident on Feb. 28.

The former UFC heavyweight champion appeared in Santa Clara County court to submit the no guilty plea. A pre-trial hearing is now set for Sept. 26. Velasquez is facing 10 total criminal charges, including attempted murder, assault using a firearm and assault with deadly weapons, as well as carrying a loaded firearm in an intent to commit another felony. Velasquez, if convicted on all the charges could face an maximum sentence of 20 year to life imprisonment.

Velasquez, 39, is accused of engaging in an 11-mile high-speed chase with Harry Goularte, the man accused of molesting his close family relative — a four-year-old child who has since been identified as Velasquez’s son. Velasquez is alleged to have fired an. 40-caliber handgun into a car carrying Goularte, Goularte’s mother, and Goularte’s stepfather Paul Bender, the latter of whom was allegedly struck twice by the gunfire, resulting in non-life threatening injuries. Santa Clara police accuse Goularte Jr. of “inappropriately” touching the four-year-old child on “multiple occasions” stemming from an initial Feb. 23 call.

Goularte has since pled not guilty to the charges against him and has been released on bail, with his court date set for Sept. 20. Velasquez was denied bail multiple times.

“This was such a reckless disregard for human life,” Judge Shelyna Brown said in May. It isn’t just Mr. Goularte or his family. It is every single citizen who was in danger of being shot or rammed with the vehicle at the time of this seven mile chase.

” This court considers Mr. Goularte, his family and all citizens in Santa Clara County who were in close proximity to the alleged incident .”

The MMA community has rallied to Velasquez’s side throughout the ordeal.

UFC president Dana White and former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nürnbergomedov were among the many to write letters of support for Velasquez.

MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin contributed to this report.