MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After two days of deliberation, a jury found Minnesota Vikings’ cornerback Chris Cook not guilty of all counts.
Cook, 25, was accused of choking his girlfriend and was facing four charges including strangulation and third-degree assault.
Cook said during his week-long trial he never choked his girlfriend, Chantel Baker, and said he hit her in self-defense.
The jury also found him not guilty of intent to cause fear and intent to inflict bodily harm.
After the verdict, Cook came out of the courtroom and hugged his friends and his attorney.
“I’m not that type of guy,” said Cook. “I can’t describe how I feel. I can now get back to my normal life.”
He said going to court Thursday he was nervous because he didn’t know what the jury was going to do.
“It’s been an emotional rollercoaster,” said Cook. “I told the truth. I told them what happened.”
Cook apologized to his family and Baker’s family for what happened.
Cook missed 10 games after being suspended. He says even though they paid him he felt a void and is looking forward to getting back to work.
“I hope I’m still in Minnesota as a Viking. Wearing No. 31 and playing corner back,” said Cook.
The Minnesota Vikings issued this statement a short time after the verdict:
““We respect the legal process and the decision regarding Chris Cook. We have also thoroughly considered Chris’ situation and how he has approached this matter. We will meet with Chris in the near future and believe he deserves the opportunity to rejoin our organization.”
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said he was disappointed with the verdict.