Report: Velasquez Pled Not Guilty to Attempted Murder Charge

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Editor’s note: This story contains mentions of childhood sexual abuse. If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or at

Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez pleaded not guilty to an attempted murder charge and other gun-related charges at a plea hearing Friday, after police say he shot at a car containing three people in late February. According to court documents obtained by the Denver Post, one of those people—Harry Goularte—was recently charged with molesting the star’s 4-year-old son at a daycare. 

The bullet struck Goularte’s stepfather, Paul Bender, requiring him to be treated in the hospital.

A pre-trial hearing has now been scheduled for Sept. 26. Additionally, a motion hearing was set for Aug. 29.

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The 40-year-old  Velasquez faces one count of attempted murder, one count of shooting at a motor vehicle or aircraft, three counts of assault with a firearm, three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, one count of willfully discharging a firearm from a vehicle and one count of carrying a loaded firearm with intent to commit a felony.

The attempted murder charge alone could put Velasquez in prison for a minimum of 20 years if he is found guilty. If he is found guilty for any of the other charges, time could be added on.

Velasquez has been denied bail by a judge three times.

In terms of Goularte’s situation, he faces a felony charge and pleaded not guilty back in June. He will appear in court again Sept. 20. Velasquez and his family filed a separate civil lawsuit against the Goularte, his stepfather and their businesses. That hearing is set for Sept. 6.

UFC president Dana White and other MMA fighters sent letters to the Santa Clara County Superior Court, where Velasquez’s trial is happening, back in March asking for leniency.

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