Former mixed martial arts fighter Jason “Mayhem” Miller “beat up his girlfriend” on two occasions, a prosecutor alleged Thursday, while the defendant’s attorney told jurors that his client’s accuser is “lying, manipulative and jealous.”
“The defendant beat his girlfriend up, to break it down as simply as possible,” Senior Deputy District Attorney Mark Geller said in his opening statement. “On two separate occasions he beat her up… It will be up to you folks to determine if she’s telling the truth.”
Miller has had multiple clashes with law enforcement in Orange County over the last several years, but charges related to those incidents are still pending.
Jurors in this case will decide whether he is guilty of two felony counts of domestic violence, a felony count of stalking and a misdemeanor count of violating a restraining order — all stemming from incidents that allegedly occurred in 2013.
Geller said Miller, 36, and his ex-girlfriend had a “normal dating relationship” for about a year until “things got ugly.”
Miller’s attorney, Cameron Talley, painted a starkly different picture of an often hostile, jealous girlfriend, also a fighter, who he said would attack the defendant.
“This is a case about jealousy,” Talley said. “It’s a case about payback.”
Miller was a well-regarded championship MMA fighter who battled Georges St.-Pierre, considered one of the all-time greats, to a near standstill and defeated another great, Robbie Lawler, Talley said. He was kicked out of the MMA following the domestic violence charges and lost a gig as a commentator for Fox, Talley said.
Miller, who lives in Mission Viejo, has now turned to training and managing other fighters, Talley said.
“Another passion he has is being an artist,” according to Talley, who said some of Miller’s “edgy” and “sometimes dark” art will be part of the case.
Talley accused his client’s ex-girlfriend, Anna Stabile, of essentially conning a district attorney’s investigator into believing she had been attacked and was stalked by providing him with various posts from social media.
“Ms. Stabile is a liar,” Talley alleged. “She would pick out certain posts that were scary or intimidating and take them back to an investigator who worked on this case.”
Talley alleged the investigator did not “do anything independently” to verify her claims.
He said Miller and Stabile met at a gym in Lake Forest and “hit it off” right away. Miller told her that she would be his “girlfriend,” but that he also wanted to have sexual relationships with other women, Talley said. Stabile said OK, but wasn’t happy with the arrangement, he said.
Talley alleged that in one of the conflicts, Stabile attacked his client, not the other way around. Miller was hobbled by recent knee surgery at the time, and she accused him of “straddling her at full mount and for five minutes with his fists and elbows assaulted her,” Talley said.
“Under oath, she said he delivered 10 to 15 blows to her face,” Talley said.
Miller, however, had to struggle to restrain her, trying not to hurt her in the process, according to Talley.
In a “selfie” taken after the conflict, she “has no bruises on her face, no black eye, no chipped teeth, no broken jaw, just a scratch,” Talley said. “Her history of events will keep changing because she’s a liar, a manipulator and jealous.”
Miller and Stabile had a “threesome” with another woman prior to the incident and Stabile was angered when she checked his phone and saw text messages between Miller and the other woman, Talley said.
The two had a tumultuous relationship, with Stabile at one point hurling a bottle at the MMA champion, Talley said. She also tried to attack him with a knife on another occasion, he alleged.
Before an Aug. 3, 2013, conflict, Miller had gone to a neighbor’s house for a barbecue and downed a bottle of tequila, Talley said. After Miller got home, she went through his phone, saw the text messages with the other woman and assumed “a fighting stance,” Talley said.
“So they’re trashing around” and Miller “is trying not to hurt her. He finally gets his arms around her and asks her, `Are you OK?”‘ Talley said, alleging that when she said yes, he let her go and she turned around and “punches him in the eye.”
Miller dumped Stabile days later at a Starbucks, prompting her to call police the next day, a week after the fight, Talley said.
Stabile had a child-custody hearing coming up at the time, and she ended up losing custody of her son for awhile, he said.
When a prosecutor asked her about her commitment to testifying against Miller, Stabile allegedly said, “Yes, 100 percent if that’s what it takes for me to get my son back,” according to Talley.
Miller violated the restraining order by sending her a Snapchat video, saying, “I love you,” according to Talley, who said the stalking claims all stem from social media posts that offended the alleged victim.
–City News Service
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