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Utah teacher accused of murder requests public defender

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Posted - Dec 10th, 2018 @ 5:09pm


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WEST JORDAN — A Utah teacher accused of shooting and killing her ex-husband's girlfriend in front of her two children made her initial court appearance Monday.

The appearance of Chelsea Watrous Cook, 32, of Herriman, in 3rd District Court was brief. She waived the reading of the charges against her and asked that an attorney from the Salt Lake Legal Defender's Office be appointed to represent her.

Cook is charged with aggravated murder, burglary, three counts of felony discharge of a firearm and two counts of committing a violent offense in the presence of a child. On Nov. 25, prosecutors say Cook went to her ex-husband's house, 7690 S. Center Square in Midvale, under the pretense of dropping off cold medicine for one of the 3-year-old twin sons they share.

She ended up going into his apartment uninvited and shot and killed 26-year-old Lisa Vilate Williams, according to charging documents.

Cook was a health teacher at Skyridge High School in Lehi, according to the school's website and Cook's Facebook page. A day after the shooting, Cook was fired from the Alpine School District and her profile was removed from the high school's website.

Cook is being held without bail in the Salt Lake County Jail. Her next court hearing is scheduled for Jan. 8.

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