Accused serial abuser faces judge in Lauderdale County

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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Tenn. — Melissa Terrell's swollen, bloody and beaten face sounded the alarm that led to the arrest of Charles Cook.

"The is the first time we've had a case of this magnitude," said Joni Glenn, with the Lauderdale County District Attorney's Office.

Charles Cook is accused of nearly killing his former girlfriend.

He's facing kidnapping and attempted first-degree murder charges.

"We intend to indict Cook in June and hold him accountable for his," Glenn said.

For the first time Melissa Terrell took the stand in court Thursday. She opened up about her most intimate moments with Cook and told the judge about the attacks and the pain she's dealing with.

"It was traumatic for her. We did close the courtroom today. When this case goes to trial we won't be able to do that,"

Terrell told the judge Cook repeatedly put her head under water even though she begged him to stop.

She claims she was beaten with not only Cook's fist but anything he could find to harm her. Cook allegedly raped and attacked Terrell for days in her own home before she finally got away, barely holding on to life.

"It was extremely hard for her. This is an extremely disturbing case,"

The swelling is gone, but she told the courtroom she still can't hear.

She says she has spine issues, suffered a fractured rib, a twisted colon, a collapsed lung and still will have to undergo surgery.

Cook's public defender hasn't said what plea he'll enter.

He remains in jail in Lauderdale County and will face a judge again June 4.

He has been accused of abuse multiple times by different women throughout Dyer County over more than a decade.

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