Telling this audience that attitude is often the difference between state prison and county jail is preaching to the choir. Lest you have wayward clients, be sure to pass this story along:
SAN DIEGO — A San Diego judge postponed a sentencing hearing Thursday for a former mixed-martial arts championship fighter, saying his behavior inside and outside the courtroom warranted prison not probation.
Jon Koppenhaver, who legally changed his name to War Machine, pleaded guilty last month to two counts of assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury. The case stems from altercations at a Point Loma bar in February and a Pacific Beach bar in March. He also admitted he violated probation on a previous case.
War Machine, 28, was expected to be formally sentenced in accordance with a plea bargain Thursday, but Superior Court Judge David Danielsen said he was “inclined not to honor the plea agreement,” given the statements War Machine had made to the Probation Department, his assertion in court Thursday that he had not read the terms of the plea, and a series of Twitter messages posted online before he was booked into jail last month.
“This really is a state prison case,” Danielsen said.
War Machine pleaded guilty July 1 and agreed to report to county jail to begin serving a yearlong stint as a condition of probation. The judge allowed the mixed-martial artist to report to jail July 16 so he could participate in a professional fight scheduled a week earlier.
Prosecutors agreed not to ask for additional jail or prison time at the sentencing if War Machine complied with the order.
Deputy District Attorney Michael Runyon filed a document Thursday containing several expletive-laden “tweets” posted on War Machine’s Twitter page in which he apparently rails against the court system, minimizes his role in the bar fights and laments having to serve a jail term.
One of the tweets reads, in part, that it “doesn’t pay to win in a street fight ... it doesn’t even pay to defend yourself our county has gone soft. We need a civil war!”
If you can believe it, there's more here.