Former UFC star Cain Velasquez pleads not guilty to attempted murder, gun charges after shooting

Former UFC star Cain Velasquez officially pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and several other charges on Friday in San Jose, California, according to MMA Junkie.

Velasquez, who was first arrested in February, is now due in court next on Sept. 26. He has been denied bail, but an appeal of that ruling is still pending.

Velasquez allegedly chased down Harry Goularte in late February in the Bay Area. Police said Velasquez followed Goularte’s parents on their way to pick him up one day, and then followed the three of them for some time before he shot once at their car. Then, Velasquez allegedly rammed his car into theirs, shot several more times — and hit Goularte’s stepfather in the arm and torso — before fleeing the scene. The chase went on for almost 11 miles.

The incident took place just days after Goularte was charged himself in a separate case. Goularte was charged with a single count of lewd and lascivious act with a child under the age of 14 after he allegedly molested Velasquez’s young relative at a daycare center.

Goularte, 43, allegedly took Velasquez’s relative into a bathroom at the daycare center that his mom runs and touched the child’s genitals “100 times.” Goularte was released after his arrest, and has denied those accusations.

Velazquez has been denied bail twice, and is facing 10 other gun-related charges. He could face more than 20 years in prison.

The former UFC heavyweight champion has received plenty of support from the MMA world since his arrest, including from UFC president Dana White and stars like Khabib Nurmagomedov, Daniel Cormier and Henry Cejudo.

According to MMA Junkie, Velasquez’s attorneys and prosecutors are feuding over how to incorporate Goularte’s case into the trial. The district attorney only wants part of that investigation included in Velasquez’s trial, as it’s an ongoing investigation.

“Harry Goularte was fundamental and critical to what he observed and how that investigation against Mr. Cain Velasquez happened,” one of Velasquez’s attorneys, Renee Hessling, said Friday. “To say that he should just be completely excised from this equation and pretend that he does not exist and just completely dismiss his presence or what type of role he has in that, I think is a fiction. I don’t think that that is practical. I think it’s fundamentally unfair to Mr. Velasquez.”

SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 07: SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 7: Cain Velasquez is photographed during a hearing at the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice on Monday, March 7, 2022, in San Jose, Calif. Velasquez allegedly shot at a car carrying a man charged with molesting his minor relative, and wounded the accused man's stepfather in South San Jose.  (Photo by Aric Crabb/MediaNews Group/East Bay Times via Getty Images)