Cain Velasquez attorney Mark Geragos concerned about fair prosecution from district attorney

The legal proceedings roll on for former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. A motion hearing was held June 24 at Santa Clara (Calif.) County Hall of Justice, MMA Junkie has learned through court documents. The hearing was court-ordered. Velasquez’s defense and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office debated in front of Judge Jessica M. Delgado how much information involving the felony case of accused molester Harry Goularte should be entered into discovery for the Velasquez case. Velasquez is accused of shooting at a moving vehicle that contained three people and allegedly attempted to target Goularte, a man who previously was arrested and accused of molesting Velasquez’s 4-year-old son. Velasquez’s lead defense attorney, Mark Geragos, argued the district attorney’s office, represented by attorney Aaron French, has a duty to turn over all findings from the Goularte case for purposes of discovery in the Velasquez case. Geragos cited “Brady and Giglio,” a policy precedent that “requires prosecutors to disclose exculpatory and impeachment evidence when such evidence is material to guilt or punishment,” according to the National Institute for Jail Operations. The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office is the prosecutor for both the Velasquez case and the Goularte case. “It’s obvious to me that the DA is serving two masters here and can’t be trusted to prosecute fairly,” Geragos told MMA Junkie on Thursday. Since the Velasquez court hearings started, Geragos has indicated he finds the Goularte case relevant to what led to Velasquez’s alleged actions. He echoed that sentiment at this hearing, when he said there is a possibility of imperfect self-defense. Imperfect self-defense is a law doctrine recognized in California that can downgrade charges if self-defense is deemed partially applicable to a situation. French argued Geragos’ request painted too broad a picture and said he thinks what should be entered into discovery is only what is deemed relevant to the Velasquez case – not everything deemed relevant to the Goularte case. No decision on the matter was reached June 24. The two sides and Judge Delgado agreed to table the matter. In the meantime, discussions between the defense and prosecution will continue outside court in anticipation of an agreement to be established at an Aug. 5 hearing. Velasquez was denied bail for a third time earlier this week. In addition to the hearing for the anticipated resolution, an Aug. 19 plea hearing also is on the court calendar. Goularte has pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of lewd acts with a child. He is set to have a preliminary trial hearing Sept. 20. The first hearing for a civil lawsuit filed by the Velasquez family against the Goularte, Patricia Goularte and Paul Bender is set for Sept. 6, with summons served. If found guilty of attempted murder, Velasquez faces a minimum of 20 years and up to life in prison, according to the California penal code. He faces additional time if found guilty of other counts.

Cain Velasquez attorney Mark Geragos concerned about fair prosecution from district attorney

The legal proceedings roll on for former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez.

A motion hearing was held June 24 at Santa Clara (Calif.) County Hall of Justice, MMA Junkie has learned through court documents. The hearing was court-ordered.

Velasquez’s defense and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office debated in front of Judge Jessica M. Delgado how much information involving the felony case of accused molester Harry Goularte should be entered into discovery for the Velasquez case.

Velasquez is accused of shooting at a moving vehicle that contained three people and allegedly attempted to target Goularte, a man who previously was arrested and accused of molesting Velasquez’s 4-year-old son.

Velasquez’s lead defense attorney, Mark Geragos, argued the district attorney’s office, represented by attorney Aaron French, has a duty to turn over all findings from the Goularte case for purposes of discovery in the Velasquez case.

Geragos cited “Brady and Giglio,” a policy precedent that “requires prosecutors to disclose exculpatory and impeachment evidence when such evidence is material to guilt or punishment,” according to the National Institute for Jail Operations.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office is the prosecutor for both the Velasquez case and the Goularte case.

“It’s obvious to me that the DA is serving two masters here and can’t be trusted to prosecute fairly,” Geragos told MMA Junkie on Thursday.

Since the Velasquez court hearings started, Geragos has indicated he finds the Goularte case relevant to what led to Velasquez’s alleged actions. He echoed that sentiment at this hearing, when he said there is a possibility of imperfect self-defense.

Imperfect self-defense is a law doctrine recognized in California that can downgrade charges if self-defense is deemed partially applicable to a situation.

French argued Geragos’ request painted too broad a picture and said he thinks what should be entered into discovery is only what is deemed relevant to the Velasquez case – not everything deemed relevant to the Goularte case.

No decision on the matter was reached June 24. The two sides and Judge Delgado agreed to table the matter. In the meantime, discussions between the defense and prosecution will continue outside court in anticipation of an agreement to be established at an Aug. 5 hearing.

Velasquez was denied bail for a third time earlier this week. In addition to the hearing for the anticipated resolution, an Aug. 19 plea hearing also is on the court calendar. Goularte has pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of lewd acts with a child. He is set to have a preliminary trial hearing Sept. 20. The first hearing for a civil lawsuit filed by the Velasquez family against the Goularte, Patricia Goularte and Paul Bender is set for Sept. 6, with summons served.

If found guilty of attempted murder, Velasquez faces a minimum of 20 years and up to life in prison, according to the California penal code. He faces additional time if found guilty of other counts.

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