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Defense attorney David Valentini said the defense never denied that Cook struck Baker; the question was whether it was self-defense.

“Having Chantel Baker and Chris Cook testify was the most important thing,” Valentini said. “They were the only two people present. The first time that Mr. Cook’s story was heard was in this courtroom.”

Cook said he still has feelings for his former girlfriend but does not expect they will get back together.

He said he is hopeful that he can prove he deserves to be back with the Vikings. “I know it might take some time to earn the trust of the organization and the fans, but I’m willing to do whatever it takes,” Cook said.


AP Sports Writer Jon Krawczynski contributed to this report.