Assault Trial Opens For Vikings CB Cook

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — A domestic assault trial for Minnesota Vikings cornerback Chris Cook will turn on whether jurors believe his version of events or his girlfriend’s.

Several details were released regarding the night in question from last October, during the opening statements Wednesday.

Before the incident, his attorneys said Cook planned a special weekend for his girlfriend, Chantel Baker, who flew in for the weekend from Virginia. He sent her to the Mall of America in a limo, took her to a nice restaurant, had a few shots and then took her to a local strip club.

While at the club, Cook allegedly bought lap dances for everyone who was with him, including Baker. Sometime after that, Baker became upset with Cook.

The couple returned to Cook’s home, where the fighting continued, according to his lawyers.

Prosecutor Sarah Elizabeth Hilleren said Cook choked Baker and hit her so hard she flew into a wall. Hilleren said Cook was jealous because Baker had been talking to an ex-boyfriend.

Defense attorney David Valentini said Cook never choked Baker and was simply trying to ward off her drunken attack when he reflexively hit her in the side of the head. Baker suffered a perforated eardrum.

Valentini said Baker actually attacked Cook, punching him and even pulling his hair out. Cook only acted in self-defense, he said.

A neighbor who lives near Cook and had called police on the night of the alleged attack said she was frightened for the woman, could hear her screaming and loud banging. She said she heard a man’s voice repeatedly yelling, “Why were you talking to him?”

Cook is charged with domestic assault by strangulation and third-degree assault — both felonies — in the October incident. The Vikings held him out most of last season pending his trial.

The prosecution said Baker is expected to take the stand.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • red

    self defense? yeah right

    • Tyrone Deshawn Lamont

      This is a tale of a brother being framed. The evidence clearly shows that Chris Cook is an innocent man. Ya’ll wish you were Chris Cook, ya’ll are just so jealous of him that you try to bring him down to your level…

      • Dravin

        Moron Tyrone. I would have to bring him up to my level, you are a racist and a fool. As far a jealous, that is you in spades. If he did as accused, he should have a nice stay in Stillwater, maybe he can meet you.

      • red

        no I am not jealous of him but he does clean up pretty nice. Why would I be jealos of this loser? No man should ever hit a woman but she should not not have whacked him either

      • Leroy Murray

        Amen Tyrone, all these lowlifes are jealous of this fine young man. They cast stones at him because they are unhappy with their own petty lives.

        • Sonjay

          lawlz It’s clear this is apart of Cooke’s upbringing and culture. You don’t talk it out you beat whoever dissagrees with you.

      • Edward McLean

        Yeah right. I just am wondering why fine young men bring there girls to strip clubs. My Mama taught me better than that. I ain’t gonna lie and say I’ve never been but it’s not the kind of place I would take my girl. What is it with these young athletes and there sex drives. I don’t suspect you would catch A.P hanging at the strip club buying lap dance for his homies. Chris put himself in this situation being what he is…a young kid with a pocket full of money. Alot of poor choices on his part

  • Nate

    Yea that’s true if you’re actually simple minded enough to let the media make you believe that all professional athletes are just like this guy.

    • Michele Bachmann'

      ^^ Not all are. I mean some were even taking care of Mr. Favre were they not? Oh – that way they were. Me bad _______

  • WhatdIdo

    GO VIKINGS !!!
    Nothing but top the cream of the crop people in the NFL.
    I agree, a 99%er

  • Brian

    Ziggy is giving us 400 million moron.

    • deltadawn

      FOR 10 GAMES A YEAR???

  • Brian

    He took his girlfriend to a strip club??? Nuff said.

  • msche

    Where did all of his hair go?

  • Jay

    Shock! There is a decent looking guy that hid under that rats nest of a hair job. Clothes may not make the man, but, they sure didnt hurt in this case. Glad someone pointed out the importance of dressing appropriate for court.

  • Steve

    Worst part of the whole thing is was one of the few hits he had all year. And then it was off the field. Way to go Queens. Too bad will miss the hi-lite film for this year.

  • Michele Bachmann'

    I think we can help him at the clinic. Is Ziggy paying?

  • Liquid Nails

    Strangle your chick,
    Lose job quick.

  • BaconEating

    hi all – ziggys boy here. be nice

  • steve


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