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A Day In The Life Of Chris Cook

If you're anything like me, the above title probably refers to something you'll never experience. See, normally, that statement would refer to the awesomeness it probably is to be a top-level NFL player. (Really, any NFL player probably- although I imagine there's a lot more heartache and stress at the bottom levels that I wouldn't want to deal with).

Of course, there's an entirely different reason too why today in the life of Chris Cook would be unlike anything I've ever experienced- and hope to never experience, at that.

Yep, today chalks up another day in the trial of Chris Cook for allegedly assaulting and strangling his girlfriend. If you've missed any of the past recaps, here's a brief review:

  • Cook's team is claiming self-defense, apparently painting the alleged victim as ‘violent and manipulative' (words Pioneer Press, not my own).
  • Said alleged victim has recanted her statement that he assaulted/ strangled her, saying she lied to police just so he would go to jail. However...
  • Prosecutors have been moving forward, having played a tape of her describing the assault to police shortly after Cook's arrest for the jury on Friday; furthermore, they claim there is ample physical evidence, and that her claim that she was lying is in fact the true lie; and just as noteworthy, Cook made a phone call to her on his first night of jail, blaming her for him being there and missing an NFL game.

So yeah, basically, this one's pretty up in the air. Whereas when the main witness only witness as well as alleged victim recants their testimony usually ends up with a ‘case dismissed', prosecutors feel there is ample evidence to prove that she is either a repentant girlfriend who really was assaulted, or even an intimidated victim.

Well, things got more interesting today. Read on after the Leap of Faith.

A new witness was called today- Chris Cook's roommate, William Grishaw. Now, it is my understanding that Grishaw was not a witness to the actual violent confrontation (as prosecutor and defense agree there was one- just not on who started it or what transpired), but that he and Cook spoke a few times after his incarceration. Prosecutors claim that he carried a message to the alleged victim telling her to recant her testimony. While it's indisputable that Cook and Grishaw did discuss that her recantation would ease his legal woes (recordings of such were played for the court), Grishaw claims he never told her to do so.

Before we even continue here let me point something out. Yes, there are recordings of Cook stating that if she recants her story, he will get out of jail. HOWEVER. Before anyone jumps on that... it's the truth, whether he's innocent or guilty of what he's accused of. If I'm arrested on false testimony, I'm absolutely likely to tell someone, in just random conversation about it all, that said fake testimony is what landed me there in the first place, and if said accuser just came clean, I'd be a free man again. So, it's worth noting that Cook stating such neither a.) proves that he is guilty, or b.) proves that the alleged victim in any way was coerced and/or intimidated. Does it prove he's innocent or that she wasn't? No- but it doesn't prove the opposite, either.

Anyways, Grishaw doesn't exactly seem to be the prosecution's darling, as he has apparently been described as unwilling and evasive. He's not charged with any contempt of court, which is worth noting, but again, he apparently hasn't lived up to their expectations of cooperation- whether that's fair or not.

A note written to Cook, read to him by Grishaw while he was in jail, from the alleged victim said that she loved him, and that he was in jail with his NFL career on the line because of her. Said note was read aloud to the jury today- but unfortunately, like the above comments Cook made to Grishaw, that clarifies absolutely nothing. Was she feeling guilty for lying, or just because she was in jail? Even if she was physically and unjustly assaulted, never underestimate the actions of a battered woman (important note here- I'm not saying by any means that she is, in fact, lying about lying, that Cook is guilty, or that she was assaulted outside of self-defense; I'm simply pointing a potentially relevant fact out here).

Here's a further twist, by the way, one I was previously unaware of. While the original story has been that the argument all started when Cook became jealous to her talking to an ex-boyfriend on the phone while at his house, now it appears the argument started when they went to a strip club, and she became upset because he was spending too much time with a stripper. Ah, true love... anyways, this does throw a bit of a wrench into things, because it does set up the possibility of her attacking him (reportedly, by striking him in the back of the head with a high-heeled shoe) first- now there's that potential ‘motive' for such an incident having occurred. (Again- possibly. Mind you, I'm staying neutral in all this- I'm just pointing out angles and such here.)

Anyways, as it stands now prosecution has rested its case, and defense will begin calling witnesses tomorrow- with whether or not Cook himself will testify still a bit up in the air. In fact, this whole case seems up in the air- as you can probably tell from above, neither defense nor prosecution has really presented anything solid, that can't be turned against itself. Can't imagine tomorrow will bring us anything less vague- but the good news is closing arguments and jury deliberation is expected to occur Wednesday, so hopefully by the end of this week, we'll at least have a legal resolution to all this- and none too soon, as the Vikings need to know about Cook to really prepare for FA and the draft.