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Updated: November 22nd, 2011 12:48pm
Vikings' Chris Cook to claim self-defense; trial set to begin March 5

Vikings' Chris Cook to claim self-defense; trial set to begin March 5

by Tom Pelissero
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Chris Cook plans to claim self-defense when his domestic assault trial begins in March -- and his attorney says the alleged victim no longer claims the Minnesota Vikings cornerback tried to strangle her.

That was the upshot of Cook's court appearance in Tuesday, according to The Associated Press, which reported attorney David Valentini said his client would contest two felony charges.

Cook originally was charged with domestic assault by strangulation. An additional charge of third-degree assault was added after the alleged victim, Cook's girlfriend, said she suffered hearing loss after being choked.

A criminal complaint said Cook attacked the woman Oct. 22 after she spoke to an ex-boyfriend. Valentini says the alleged victim has recanted her allegation that Cook tried to strangle her. Prosecutors say they intend to pursue both charges.

Cook, 24, remains on paid leave from the Vikings. His next hearing is scheduled for Jan. 13, with the trial set for March 5.

The Associated Press contributed.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero
In this story: Chris Cook