As fans found out this morning, it’s been a rough twenty-four hours for Thiago Silva.
Arrested in in South Florida’s Oakland Park last night, and as on a variety of charges relating to domestic violence, the 7 – 3 – 2 (NC) UFC fighter finds himself, today, sitting in a Broward County Sheriff’s jail and without bond.
Shortly after his arrest Silva was brought before the “first appearance” court of Judge John Hurley. Before starting, the judge prefaced the proceedings by stating that they were not a trial and that the business at hand was about establishing “probable cause” for the accused’s arrest and nothing more.
Further, he advised those being brought before him of their constitutional rights and that they were not compelled to speak. Indeed, Judge Hurley admonished them not to do so.
Beyond a reading of the facts and allegations, and given that there was probable cause for an accused’s arrest, the purpose of the process was to then establish bail; the amount and conditions, thereof.
During his probable cause hearing Silva was represented by his lawyer, Scott Saul, and not a public defender. That’s very much worth noting, because it’s doubtful that a public defender would have done for Silva that which his attorney did. It’s safe to say that, based on a viewing of the ‘PD’ and how he attended to his cases.
Silva’s lawyer made some solid legal arguments in front of Judge Hurley and as such, appears to be the reason why Silva’s charges were reduced.
First, his lawyer didn’t fight the probable cause on “failing to abide by the police”, nor did he fight it on the accusation of Silva placing a gun in his wife’s (Thaysa) mouth. These would represent count’s three and four of Silva’s charges.
Setting those aside, Saul went after the two counts of attempted murder that Silva had been charged with. He pointed out to Judge Hurley that the charges were poorly written and failed to present the “elements” necessary to form probable cause on a murder charge.
To the point, Silva’s attorney made note of the fact that the Judge Hurley, by reading the charges presented to him, would have to make an “assumption” that Silva’s two counts of attempted murder were in relation to his going to the “Popovitch Mixed Martial Arts Academy” yesterday, and did not stem from the January 30th (gun) assault on his wife.
In furthering his argument, Saul conceded that Silva had driven to the Popovitch gym and did indeed brandish a firearm, however, that constituted a charge of aggravated assault, but not attempted murder.
As such, Silva’s lawyer appeared to be conceding the point that Silva had committed aggravated assault, but in turn, felt the attempted murder charges laid against his client stemmed more from the arresting officer’s view or bias of Silva as an MMA fighter, than it had anything to do with the facts of Silva’s case.
To the argument, the prosecutor representing the state referenced Florida law and stated that “any act towards the commission of such an offense” is, in essence, a commission of the crime. Further, any act that “intercepts” the crime must be seen as a prevention of the crime. Regarding this point, the State’s attorney referenced Pablo Popovitch interjecting himself into the confrontation between Silva and his wife.
To that, Silva’s lawyer called the State’s attorney’s argument “speculative” and stated that the State was required to address the charges as written and not introduce “what ifs.”
In the end, it seemed to boil down to this for Judge Hurley, what did Popovitch do to prevent the crime and if he did something, and Silva was truly intent on murdering his wife, then “why didn’t he shoot Popovitch, too.”
After weighing it all, Judge Hurley found no probable cause for murder on counts one and two, but did find probable cause for aggravated assault with a firearm regarding the same charges.
With that, Judge Hurley lowered the boom and slammed the door on Thiago Silva; denied bail and remanded into custody, as a threat to society and a flight risk; riveting stuff.
Silva’s arraignment begins at (roughly) the 2:18:00 mark of the video.
Silva's official police report.