That might be a bit of a conclusion to jump to this early in the case, but judging from what was said in the courtroom yesterday, I don't think that the leap is all that far.
The woman Minnesota Vikings cornerback Chris Cook is accused of assaulting last year testified Wednesday that he never choked her and that the whole fracas was her fault.
And that was her testimony as a witness for the prosecution.
"Are you saying you deliberately lied?" (Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Sarah) Hilleren asked her of her earlier statements to police.
"Yes, I did," she replied.
As I've stated numerous times before, I'm no legal expert or anything like that. . .but when the prosecution's star witness gets on the stand and pretty much says, "The defendant didn't do it," one would have to assume that makes it significantly tougher to get a conviction. Now, do I think that Chris Cook is completely innocent or that he's a great guy or anything? Nope. Not at all. I'm simply saying that, based on the testimony of the subject of the assault that Cook has been accused of, it appears that the prosecution has a tough row to hoe as far as getting a conviction is concerned.
The thing to keep in mind here is this. . .Chris Cook is going to be found "guilty" or "not guilty." He's not going to be found "innocent." It's important to remember that "not guilty" and "innocent" are two completely different things. . .don't equate them. The physical evidence shows that Chris Cook beat the crap out of Chantel Baker (unless there's a radically different interpretation that I'm totally missing). Is that going to be enough for the prosecution to get a conviction even after their star witness recants her testimony? That's for the men and women of the jury to decide.
That decision is going to be the determining factor in whether or not Cook has any chance of being a Viking next season. If he's found "guilty," then he's likely going to jail. If he's found "not guilty," he'll likely be back with the team. If the latter happens, there will be backlash. . .that's just the way it is. It just happens to be my opinion that what happened yesterday makes the latter the most likely scenario.