Viking Chris Cook's girlfriend recants choking claim

March 6, 2012 at 1:20 PM
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MINNEAPOLIS, March 6 (UPI) -- Minnesota Vikings cornerback Chris Cook's girlfriend recanted her claim he strangled her and apologized for telling police he had, a judge said.

Hennepin County District Judge Robert Small, who is presiding over Cook's trial on charges of domestic abuse by strangulation and third-degree assault, referred to evidence the prosecution asked to have admitted, the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press reported.

"The victim apologizes for telling police he strangled her, that she had never been strangled before," Small said as the two sides discussed pretrial motions Monday.

Small granted the request to admit the evidence.

The Pioneer Press said jurors will likely hear Chantel Baker's recanting her statements that the 6-foot-2, 212-pound Cook, now 25, had choked her.

Police arrived at Cook's home in Eden Prairie, Minn., about 1:40 a.m. Oct. 22. Baker told them he had put his hands around her neck twice, restricting her breathing.

A criminal complaint stated he was angry at her for talking with an ex-boyfriend.

Cook was arrested at the scene and missed a game against the Green Bay Packers while in jail.

Small denied a defense request to dismiss the third-degree assault charge, which had been added after Baker went to a doctor with an ear injury she said she suffered when her head hit a wall.

The judge said evidence showed she had suffered a broken eardrum and temporary hearing loss.

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