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Assault trial opens for Vikings CB Cook

Mar 7, 2012 at 11:22 am

MINNEAPOLIS (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.

In opening statements Wednesday, prosecutor Sarah Elizabeth Hilleren said Cook choked Chantel 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 says 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.

Cook, 25, 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.

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