Christy Martin hires celebrity attorney

12/22/2010 - Boxing

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The husband of former women's boxing champion Christy Martin was denied bail Wednesday after a judge concluded he had started a bedroom fight that prosecutors say left his wife with stab wounds in her chest, a knife gash in her leg and bullet shrapnel lodged in her back.

Circuit Judge Thomas Mihok ordered James Martin to remain in jail until his trial on attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery charges in May. He has pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defense.

After the bond hearing, Christy Martin's newly hired lawyer, celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, said her 42-year-old client "will sleep better tonight knowing that he will continue to be in custody."

Christy Martin said in a statement she read out loud after the hearing that she was determined to continue with her career, despite what happened.

"I am a fighter and I love boxing," Christy Martin said. "A fighter has to have a strong fighting spirit and I still have mine."

Prosecutor Ryan Vescio told the judge that during the hour-long fight last month at their home in an Orlando suburb, James Martin stabbed his wife in the chest, sliced her in the leg, shot her in the back, pistol-whipped her and smashed her head into a dresser.

Christy Martin had made clear to James Martin that she wanted to end their marriage for another woman, and days before the attack he had told her, "If I can't have you, no else is going to," Vescio said.

The prosecutor also said James Martin had stalked his wife and a woman she was with in the days before the fight and that he had hidden out in a neighbor's shed for almost a week after the attack.

"The defendant could not accept the fact that his wife was moving on," Vescio said.

James Martin's attorneys said he acted in self-defense and that there was no physical evidence yet to conclude exactly what had happened in their bedroom. The 67-year-old Martin injured his hand during the fight and wore bandages on his arm, which was held in a sling during the hearing.

"To date, the court can not determine .... who was the aggressor ... and who was acting in self-defense," said defense attorney Doricia Miller Rivas.

The Los Angeles-based Allred has represented everyone from Tiger Woods' alleged mistresses to the family of O.J. Simpson's slain ex-wife, often championing women's causes. She decided to represent Christy Martin, she said, because the boxer "is a role model of strength and courage for other women."