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Former UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen faces a reduced number of charges in a criminal case stemming from an alleged December hotel attack case in Las Vegas.
At a court hearing Wednesday, Justice Pro Tem Craig Friedberg dismissed two misdemeanor battery counts that accused Sonnen of a Dec. 18 attack on Julie and Christopher Stellpflug at the Four Seasons hotel in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Review-Journal first reported the news.
Sonnen originally faced 11 total charges, which included 10 misdemeanor battery charges and one count of felony battery by strangulation. The dismissal of the two misdemeanor charges Wednesday follow a previously dropped felony battery charge along with the filing of an amended criminal complaint in March. That amendment reduced the number of misdemeanor counts to six, which is now down to four after Wednesday’s hearing.
According to the lawsuit filed by the Stellpflugs, Sonnen allegedly attacked the couple in the hallway of the hotel “without provocation” which resulted in injuries.
Sonnen’s defense attorney Dayvid Figler filed a motion to dismiss all charges after prosecutors were unable to obtain statements the Stellpflugs previously made to a TV station in California, claiming the comments could be used as exculpatory evidence in the case.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Jake Merback argued the failure to obtain the statements was not withholding evidence.
“There is no reason to believe that the statements made to the media would be inconsistent with the Stellpflug’s prior statements,” Merback wrote in court documents.
Merback also wrote that only charges related to the Stellpflugs’ alleged injuries should be dismissed from the case if the judge disagreed with the prosecution.
Sonnen, 45, was not in attendance for the hearing on Wednesday.
Public negotiations are expected to resume at an Oct. 5 hearing, according to online records. Sonnen, who recently hosted a pair of pre-fight press conferences for the upcoming Jake Paul vs. Anderson Silva boxing match, has yet to publicly comment on the case.
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