“Free Cain” is a two-word demand that has been said countless times. It’s been printed on T-shirts and banners. It has flooded social media as a caption.
In actuality, it’s yet to happen — something defense attorney Mark Geragos hopes changes Monday when Cain Velasquez‘s bail hearing takes place at the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice in San Jose, California.
“The bail hearing is scheduled for Monday, and we’re hopeful that he’ll be released on terms and conditions that can satisfy the court that there is no threat, which there clearly is not,” Geragos told MMA Junkie on Thursday about the former UFC heavyweight champion who has been charged with attempted murder.
At an arraignment hearing March 7, Judge Sheylna Brown called Velasquez’s alleged actions “reckless” and voiced her opinion that it posed too great a risk to release him on bail. The same judge will oversee Velasquez’s hearing Monday.
Geragos does not view Velasquez in the same light and hopes the judge reconsiders at Monday’s bail hearing, ahead of a plea hearing scheduled for June 10.
“Based on what I’ve seen of Cain and what I know of Cain, there is no threat,” Geragos reiterated.
Velasquez faces charges of attempted murder (one count), shooting at a motor vehicle or aircraft (one count), assault with a firearm (three counts), assault with a deadly weapon (three counts), willfully discharging a firearm from a vehicle (one count), and carrying a loaded firearm with intent to commit a felony (one count).
If found guilty of attempted murder, Velasquez faces a minimum of 20 years and up to life in prison. He faces additional time if found guilty of other counts.
Velasquez was arrested and charged after he allegedly shot at accused child molester Harry Goularte, whose stepfather Paul Bender took a bullet to the shoulder. Goularte, who wasn’t struck, faces a felony charge of “a lewd and lascivious act with a child under the age of 14,” who allegedly is a 4-year-old relative of Velasquez.
Three days prior to the shooting, Goularte was released on bail. Goularte was scheduled for a plea hearing April 13, but Judge Le Jacqueline Duong granted a continuance until June 6 at the request of both attorneys.
After that continuance, Goularte’s defense attorney, Stephen DeFilippis, said his client is innocent and intends on continuing to join hearings virtually going forward.
At all hearings to date for Velasquez and Goularte, a large contingent of “#FreeCain” protestors and supporters have been present. Velasquez, who has been incarcerated for more than 60 days, has issued three statements since his arrest. In the first, he thanked supporters and asked for victims to come forward. In the second, Velasquez asked for donations for RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) as part of National Sexual Assault Awareness & Child Abuse Prevention Month.
A third tweet came minutes before his hearing last Friday, in which Velasquez wished his daughter a happy birthday and expressed hope that a judge would grant him bail.