Press Release: MMA/UFC Fighter Road Rage True Crime Murder Book, an Amazon Hot New Release
Contact: Mike Arnold, Versus Publishing, 541-338-9111, firstname.lastname@example.org
For Immediate Release
MMA/UFC Fighter Road Rage True Crime Murder Book, an Amazon Hot New Release
EUGENE, ORE., Dec. 21, 2016 — Oregon criminal defense attorneys Mike Arnold and Emilia Gardner have released a hard-hitting account of Gerald “The Finishing Machine” Strebendt’s murder case. The attorneys’ book, Finishing Machine, exposes several truths about the judicial system and its political motivations while contemplating their client’s guilt vs. innocence. Due to Strebendt’s former MMA fame and Mike Arnold’s minor legal celebrity for representing Ammon Bundy in the aftermath of the Oregon Standoff, the book has already been propelled to “Hot New Release” status in several Amazon categories.
Strebendt, who fought at UFC 44, was accused of murder for shooting an unarmed man in an alleged road-rage incident after a traffic accident on a dark country road. Gerald Strebendt’s reputation as a military- and MMA-trained killer allowed both police and prosecutors to pre-judge him as guilty. Afraid that the defendant could kill with his bare hands, the authorities made Strebendt spend a year awaiting trial in the roughest and most isolating of conditions, solitary confinement in an under-funded county jail. Even when the evidence cast strong doubt as to who was the real aggressor on the night of the shooting, the murder charge stubbornly stuck. Why? Because people had bad stories to tell about Gerald Strebendt. The police didn’t even have to pick up the phone to find critics who painted Strebendt as a habitual fighter, an inveterate taunter (if not bully) and, yes, a road-rager. The knocks and negative accounts about the man poured in almost entirely unsolicited – by mail, by email, and on Facebook.
“…he stopped his car in front of us, blocking us, and demanded to know why we were following him….”
“…he said he was a trained killer, that he’d killed people before….”
“…I was afraid to ride with him in a car….”
“…he told me there was a gun under the seat and I should point it at the other driver…”
They all were ready to condemn Gerald Strebendt as a likely killer. There were complete strangers who stepped forward to recount a threatening incident on the road or elsewhere, something that just happened to involve “that guy I read about in the paper, the one connected to that shooting.” A sheriff’s deputy said he was so unnerved by Strebendt’s hostility during a traffic stop that he made a note in a database to warn other officers who might encounter Strebendt. There was an ex-wife, too, who alleged that Gerald”road-raged” three to five times a week.
What chance did Gerald have against all of these breathlessly told tales and their tellers? Not much of a chance, but just enough for two small-town defense attorneys to help Strebendt evade the worst sentence, 25 years to life in prison.
Throughout the long legal fight – one that felt personal not just for Mike Arnold, but for his entire law firm – Gerald Strebendt accepted responsibility for his legal predicament. Not for shooting his aggressor, of course, but for the life experiences and the poor choices that led up to his decision to shoot an unarmed man who was 20 years his senior.
Strebendt grew up rough, possessing neither a solid father figure nor a clear sense of right and wrong. A born warrior, Strebendt dreamed of a mixed-martial-arts career that he briefly achieved. Drawn to the military, Strebendt chose the lonely, thinking-man’s life of a Marine sniper. When he had a chance to return to society as a civilian, Strebendt didn’t. He chose to do two tours as a “contractor” for Blackwater in Afghanistan, with all the urban, shoot-first-ask-questions-later action that implied. And when Strebendt came home from the close-range skirmishes and the threat of exploding IEDs, he forgot to leave the wary watchfulness, the aggression, and the swashbuckling bluster in Kabul. It came home with him. It caused trouble for him, even as he began building a reputation as a respected local businessman. Once, when asked how he’d gotten himself in a position to be so wrongly accused for something that he did not do – namely, shooting an unarmed man in cold blood – Strebendt gave a chillingly self-aware response:
“Because I have been a scoundrel and an asshole for years and Allah, Karma, and God have finally caught up with me.”
Finishing Machine invites readers to consider how the whole of a man’s life can lead to a single moment from which he may never recover. It encourages us to think about how ill-equipped the justice system is to handle a case where a man who seems to have done everything wrong can be put in legal jeopardy for an incident in which he possibly did everything right. The book reminds us of what we already know – that the line between the “bad guy” and the “good guy” can be very hard to discern indeed.
On the night of the shooting, Gerald Strebendt stood alone against a man who said he had a gun, with only a 911 operator to talk to. Throughout the year-long investigation of the case, Strebendt sat alone in an 8-by-8 cell, with only Mike Arnold – a young attorney who had never tried a murder case on his own – on his side. Was Arnold up to the task? Could he clear away his own demons to fight Strebendt’s past and win the case?
THE AUTHORS of Finishing Machine
Mike Arnold is a trial attorney in Eugene, Oregon. He tells stories for a living, delivering a narrative through facts to juries around the state. He also enjoys telling stories to his daughter, which all seem to end up with someone in the family actually being an alien or a robot much to her dismay. The jury stories often end up with a two-word verdict.
Mike gained notoriety as an attorney when he stood on the courthouse steps as Ammon Bundy’s attorney and told the remaining occupiers of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge to “please stand down.”
Emilia Gardner is an attorney, living and working in Oregon. Reading was her first love, and there were no bounds to what genre of book she could and would curl up with and enjoy. A love of writing soon followed, but it would never take the place of consuming the words on the page written by others. Emilia is a straight forward woman and attorney, and her communication style is evident in her writing. Simple, to the point, and effective.
Headshot of Mike: http://versuspublishing.com/mike-headshot-full-res-3/
Headshot of Emilia: http://versuspublishing.com/emilia-gardner-2/
Book Cover Image: http://arnoldlawfirm.com/finishing-machine-ebook/