Former mixed martial arts star Cain Velasquez on Monday pleaded not guilty to attempted murder charges then asked the judge to allow him to travel out of state for a wrestling event.
Velasquez, who posted bail and was released from Santa Clara County jail Nov. 9 after eight months behind bars, faces the attempted murder charges after he allegedly shot at a pickup truck carrying the man accused of molesting his child through busy streets in multiple South Bay cities.
Prosecutors say Velasquez did not hit his intended target but instead wounded a passenger in the pickup. They said he also rammed the vehicle with his own truck during a high-speed chase.
After entering his not-guilty plea in a San Jose courtroom Monday, Velasquez asked the judge to allow him to travel next month to Arizona State University to wrestle in the Lucha Libre event taking place Dec. 3.
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The judge is slated to rule Tuesday on the out-of-state travel request.
It's rare that a defendant in an attempted murder case would get permission to leave the state.
The judge said he was leaning toward allowing Velasquez to attend the event but is concerned about what would happen with the ankle monitor.
"I don’t know how he would be expected to wear it if he's wrestling or training," legal analyst Jaime Leanos said.
The prosecutor objected to the request, saying Velasquez remains a danger to the community.
Velasquez offered to pay for a police officer to accompany him on the trip, if the court required the added layer of security.
Leanos said the request is rare, but he also noted the case itself is rare.
"I think it would be a very unique situation, but then again Mr. Velasquez comes from a very unique background," Leanos said. "He’s a celebrity and a former champion."