Former mixed martial arts star Cain Velasquez pleaded not guilty on Monday to attempted murder, then asked the judge to allow him to travel out of state for a wrestling event.
Velasquez, who posted bond and was released from Santa Clara County Jail on Nov. 9 after eight months behind bars, faces attempted murder charges after allegedly shooting a van carrying the accused man. of assaulting her child on busy streets in several South Bay towns.
Prosecutors say Velasquez did not hit his target, but instead injured a passenger in the pickup. They said he also rammed the vehicle with his own truck during a high-speed chase.
After pleading not guilty in a San Jose courtroom on Monday, Velasquez asked the judge to allow him to travel next month to Arizona State University to wrestle in the Lucha Libre event which will take place on the 3 december.
The judge is due to rule on the out-of-state travel request on Tuesday.
It is rare for a defendant in an attempted murder case to be granted permission to leave the state.
The judge said he was leaning towards allowing Velasquez to attend the event, but was worried about what would happen with the ankle monitor.
“I don’t know how you would expect him to wear it if he’s wrestling or training,” said legal analyst Jaime Leanos.
The prosecutor opposed the request, saying Velasquez remains a danger to the community.
Velasquez offered to pay a police officer to accompany him on the trip, should the court require an additional layer of security.
Leanos said the request is rare, but he also noted that the case itself is rare.
“I think it would be a very unique situation, but again, Mr. Velasquez comes from a very unique background,” Leanos said. “He’s a celebrity and a former champion.”