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DA expects few surprises in beating suspect's court case

Reported by: Kelsey Thomas
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Updated: 8/21/2014 6:37 am
LAS VEGAS (KSNV – A mixed martial arts fighter accused of a brutal beating in Las Vegas could face a local judge as early as next week.

Johnathan Koppenhaver will be brought back to Nevada by Metro police.

U.S. Marshals captured Koppenhaver on Friday in Simi Valley, Calif., after the fugitive week on the run.

The chase received both local and national media attention. Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson says he doesn't expect that to have any effect on a possible trial.

“We've had a lot of other cases that have received a lot more notoriety,” Wolfson said. “The O.J. Simpson case and other kinds of cases. When it comes right down to it, the jury will be told to base their decisions on the evidence, and not what they've heard on television or in the newspapers.”

As for a possible change of venue, Wolfson says he can’t remember the last time that happened in Clark County, but it happens very rarely.

Koppenhaver is facing several felony charges, including battery, assault with a deadly weapon, and a misdemeanor charge of open or gross lewdness. If convicted, he faces up to 32 years in prison.


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