Yesterday we were somewhat surprised to hear that former UFC champ Quinton “Rampage” Jackson had pleaded not guilty in his felony hit-and-run, evading police case. Usually when there are pictures of you committing a crime in a monster truck that has your picture on it, your legal options are fairly limited. But Jackson spoke to the OC Register after his arraignment on Thursday and cleared a lot of things up. You see, he only did it because God and the devil were fighting inside his mind. It happens. Oh, and he had also been watching “The Secret,” in addition to not sleeping, eating, or drinking anything other than nutritious energy drinks:
Jackson, a former UFC champion who is one of the biggest names in one of the fastest-growing sports, said he also felt there was a spiritual war going on in his mind between God and the devil when he raced down Newport Boulevard on July 15, leaving a wake of rumpled cars, frightened pedestrians and angry police.
He said he thought he was on a mission to save a friend – who had recently lost his faith in God – and was unaware that he had hit any other cars or was being pursued by a phalanx of police cars.
“I thought I heard the voice of God telling me to go save Brian,” he said in an interview Thursday after his arraignment on two felony evading arrest charges. “I felt if I didn’t get to Brian, he would die.”
Now, he says, he believes he was irrational because of lack of sleep and nutrition.
“What was I thinking?” he said. “l know now that Brian was never in danger. …But I really thought at the time that he was about to die.”
The chase apparently ended in front of friend Brian Talbert’s home. Rampage had spent the night before watching the DVD of “The Secret” over and over again, and then remembered he had loaned a copy to Talbert, and became obsessed with getting to him to make sure he watched it. For those of you unaware, “The Secret” is a completely ridiculous New Age-type philosophy that encourages people to change physical reality through the sheer force of thought. It is, in other words, alchemy for the modern idiot. But wait, this Rampage saga gets weirder:
Jackson also said he was not depressed or worried that he had recently lost his UFC light-heavyweight belt in a fight in early July to contender Forrest Griffen. He said he believed he had won that fight and would get the championship back in a big pay-day rematch.
But he said he was depressed and obsessed after learning that his best friend, who was also one of his employees, had allegedly been cheating him out of money.
Losing the cash, he said, wasn’t as painful as learning that his friend was behind what he called a betrayal. The friend, who he declined to identify, was like a father to him. He said they prayed together and that he felt like they were family.
Jackson said his mind started to obsessively dwell on the betrayal, prompting him to lose his appetite and a lot of sleep.
Obviously, we’re talking about Juanito Ibarra here. Sounds like their split was rooted in prizefighting’s oldest story: manager steals fighter’s money. But wait, how does all that add up to a not guilty plea for Rampage? For that, we turn to Rampage’s lawyer, Carol Lavacot:
Lavacot said that Jackson, because of his mental state, was unaware that he was breaking any laws during the chase.
“The law says you have to have criminal intent. He didn’t have it,” Lavacot said.
“You can analogize this to somebody whose child is dying,” she added. “Are they going to slow down or stop and wait for an ambulance? Or are they going to do everything they can to get that child to the hospital?”
Except it isn’t so much like someone racing down the freeway to save a dying child. It’s more like someone who is jacked up on energy drinks racing down the freeway to save a child that it is perfectly fine. The article also says that Rampage doesn’t recall being chased by the police or hitting other cars, but does remember, “driving over the median, almost hitting a woman at a bus bench on a sidewalk, driving on the wrong side of the road, and that something was wrong with one of his tires.”
So he remembers doing some illegal shit, but not all of it, and that’s why he should be let off the hook. The hell of it is, he says he accepts “full responsibility” for what happened. And yet he’s pleading not guilty. How does that work, exactly? He accepts responsibility, as long as there are no consequences attached? In other words, he’s content to say he’s at fault, but not be treated as such. Should be interesting to see how that argument plays in court.