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.
The Las Vegas Justice Court heard Wednesday’s hearing. The prosecutors dropped the felony and four misdemeanor charges against Sonnen related to the alleged attack Sonnen committed at Four Seasons Hotel, Las Vegas Dec. 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. On March 14, Sonnen received a second court filing. He was also charged with the felony charge of battery by strangulation as well as a pair of misdemeanor battery charges. After Wednesday’s hearing, Sonnen sees his charges being reduced to six misdemeanors.
On Tuesday, state prosecutors filed an amended complaint and asked that the district attorney review the case to see if the March 14 allegations have been considered. 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 received a battery citation from each victim. Hadfield then escorted him off his property.” Hadfield stated in a statement sent to MMA Fighting 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. Kory Kaplan (the Stellpflugs’ attorney) protested Wednesday’s reduction in charges. He claimed the decision was inconsistent with a prior statement by 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 also allegedly punched Julie multiple times in the face 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 the Las Vegas Review Journal , Sonnen, Brittany, her wife, said that she didn’t remember the incident because she took Ambien earlier that day. She also claimed that she was still asleep. 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.”