Chris Cook’s assault trial has gotten underway, and some pretty amazing details about last year’s incident are coming to light. Two items in particular seem to be grabbing people’s attention. One is the revelation that Cook intended to propose to his girlfriend Chantel Baker the weekend of the alleged assault, but obviously changed his plans after things went bad. The second item is reality TV level crazy. It seems Cook and Baker partied at a strip club in the hours before the incident that got Cook arrested.
During the strip club visit, which included other friends (so it wasn’t a date; cause a date at a strip club would be totally bizarre), Chris reportedly paid one of the girls for a private dance. This move enraged Baker so much that, later in the evening, she began texting an old boyfriend in an apparent act of revenge. And it was the texting to the boyfriend that set off the whole angry incident at Chris Cook’s home that ended with him hitting Baker, sending her into a wall hard enough to perforate her eardrum.
I’m no great legal mind, but as I understand it Cook’s defense is based around two things: One, the fact that Baker at one point recanted part of her account of the incident, and; two, the claim that Cook was acting in self-defense when he injured Baker. In today’s court session Cook’s lawyer attempted to paint Baker as an “angry drunk” who physically attacked Cook, forcing him to protect himself. “Mr. Cook is blessed with fast reflexes and strength. It’s his job. There are no weaklings in the NFL, ladies and gentlemen,” Cook’s lawyer argued. “He reacts – defensively, instinctively — after he gets assaulted from behind.”
Too bad the wedding had to be called off. Sounds like they would’ve made a great husband and wife.
Can this self-defense argument actually get Cook off? Who knows? The Vikings would like a speedy resolution to this one way or another. Free agency and the draft are coming up and they’d like to know if they’ll have Cook around or if he’ll be in jail. It may sound cold-hearted to put it in those terms but from a football point of view, that’s exactly where things stand. The Vikings are expected to keep Cedric Griffin around just in case Cook is found guilty, even though Cedric reportedly wants nothing to do with staying in Minnesota on a restructured contract.
What. A. Mess.