Lauderdale County man sentenced for brutally abusing woman

Charles Cook

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A  man accused of holding his girlfriend hostage and beating her nearly to death was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Tuesday in a Lauderdale County court on charges including attempted second-degree murder.

Charles Cook was sentenced to 12 years behind bars on charges of attempted especially aggravated kidnapping, attempted second-degree murder and aggravated domestic assault, according to court documents. He is not eligible for probation.

Cook brutally abused Melissa Terrell, a woman he’d met online just weeks before, for about two weeks in January 2018.

According to court documents, Terrell was “beaten unmercifully and received a broken nose, injury to her back and face, broken ribs, and internal injuries.” She was also brutalized with a toilet plunger handle, requiring part of her colon to be removed.

Terrell’s family said she took the stand and told the judge that she felt certain Cook would kill someone if he’s not stopped. Family says she looked right at him when she said it.

They say she still has nightmares about the abuse and is unable to work. The family wanted more prison time, but said they didn’t want to push Terrell or put her through the anguish of endearing a trial on top of all that she has been through.

Along with Terrell, other victims WREG has talked with also testified.

The court noted Cook has a prior history of domestic violence convictions in Dyer County, Tennessee and in Ohio.

Cook told the courtroom the meth made him do it.

The Lauderdale County District Attorney said he was just glad they were able to bring the Terrell family some measure of justice.

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