Ex-UFC champ pleads not guilty to charges stemming from South Bay shooting

UFC fighter Cain Velasquez poses for a portrait during his media day workout at American Kickboxing Academy to promote his October 19, title fight with Junior dos Santos on October 10, 2013 in San Jose, California.
UFC fighter Cain Velasquez poses for a portrait during his media day workout at American Kickboxing Academy to promote his October 19, title fight with Junior dos Santos on October 10, 2013 in San Jose, California. Photo credit Alexis Cuarezma/Getty Images

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS RADIO) – Former UFC champion Cain Velasquez on Friday pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and multiple other charges stemming from his arrest earlier this year in Morgan Hill for allegedly chasing and shooting at a man accused of molesting his son and injuring the man’s stepfather.

Velasquez entered the plea at a San Jose courtroom alongside his attorneys and several family members. He was charged with attempted murder and 10 other gun-related charges

A preliminary examination has been set for Sept. 26, when a judge will decide whether there’s enough evidence to proceed to trial.

Velasquez has been denied bail and ordered to remain in jail while he awaits trial because of public safety concerns, however his attorney has filed a petition asking an appellate court judge to overturn that ruling.

The 40-year-old, a two-time UFC champion, retired from mixed martial arts in 2019 and recently had been coaching at his longtime gym, American Kickboxing Academy, in San Jose.

Velasquez on Feb. 28, at the intersection of Monterey Highway and Bailey Avenue, allegedly fired a handgun at 43-year-old Harry Eugene Goularte, but wound up shooting his stepfather, who survived.

Earlier that month, Goularte was charged with one felony count of a lewd and lascivious act with a child under the age of 14. The male victim has widely been identified as Velasquez's son, the San Jose Mercury News reported, who prosecutors and authorities said told his parents he had been molested by Goularte while at a daycare run by his mother. According to a court document obtained by ESPN, the boy, who is under 10-years-old, said Goularte told him not to tell anyone and the situation may have occurred "100 times."

Three days after Goularte's arraignment, while he was being taken by his parents to get outfitted for an ankle monitor, Velasquez allegedly drove up and shot at the family, missing Goularte but injuring the father, Paul Bender. Velasquez was arrested shortly after.

Goularte plead guilty to his criminal charge in June and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 20.

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