UPDATE: Victim Christine Mackinday testifies in War Machine trial

Christine Mackinday, the woman who allegedly endured months of abuse from her former boyfriend War Machine, will be on the witness stand again today.

The former MMA fighter, Koppenhaver, faces 34 counts, including attempted murder, sexual assault and kidnapping in the Aug. 2014 attack on Mackinday and her friend, Corey Thomas.

War Machine, legally changed his birth name from Jonathan Koppenhaver a while back, but he has since started using it again since his arrest in September 2014. 

The lawyer for War Machine provided a glimpse Thursday of a key element in his defense: steroid use made him prone to violent outbursts.

Under cross-examination by defense attorney Jay Leiderman, Mackinday testified in Las Vegas that she saw War Machine inject steroids and take pills during their 15-month relationship.

She said during War Machine's 19-fight MMA career, he had bouts of depression and irritability. 

Mackinday said that Koppenhaver sometimes woke up in such a bad mood he went on what Leiderman called "Twitter tirades" about killing others and wanting to kill himself.

Mackinday was guarded in some answers to the defense attorney's questions.

Was Koppenhaver prone to "sudden emotional outbursts?" Leiderman asked.

"I don't know if they were extremely sudden or if something (led) up to it," Mackinday replied.

Mackinday testified a day earlier that Koppenhaver beat her several times and raped her in the months before the August 2014 attack that injured her and Thomas. Earlier that year, she said she suffered a black eye, cut nose, a bite mark on her chin and a chipped tooth in an attack in a vehicle he was driving.

Thomas testified that Koppenhaver broke his nose and dislocated his shoulder before releasing him with a warning that if he went to the police, Koppenhaver would hurt him.

Mackinday said she escaped bleeding from her home, when she thought Koppenhaver was fetching a knife to kill her. She said he broke a knife during another attack that left her with shredded hair, cuts on her scalp, a broken nose, missing teeth, fractured eye socket, leg injuries and a lacerated liver.

Prosecutor Jacqueline Bluth asked Mackinday why she didn't defend herself.

"No way I could physically overpower him," Mackinday said, "and if I were to fight back, it would be 10 times worse."

Leiderman has not denied that the August 2014 fight took place. But he told the jury that Mackinday had rape fantasies and invited Koppenhaver to surprise her, and he cast the relationship as a mutual co-dependence that inevitably exploded into violence.

Koppenhaver has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, kidnapping, battery, sexual assault and coercion that could get him life in prison without parole in incidents before and during an August 2014 attack on Mackinday and Thomas.


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