A former high school teacher who shot and killed another woman in Midvale appeared in court for the first time since the shooting two weeks ago.
Chelsea Watrous Cook stood in shackles and a blue Salt Lake County Jail jumpsuit during her initial appearance at 3rd District Court in West Jordan on Monday. She was appointed a public defense attorney and the case was assigned to Judge Douglas Hogan.
Cook, 32, was charged with aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, for reportedly shooting an American Fork woman who was dating Cook’s ex-husband.
Around 7 p.m. on Nov. 25, investigators said Cook went to her ex-husband’s apartments in Midvale to drop off cold medicine for one of their children.
Investigators said Cook lured her ex-husband outside and then went inside his apartment after he left the door unlocked to search the parking lot for her.
According to charges filed on Wednesday, video surveillance footage at the apartments show Cook entered the apartment without knocking as soon as her ex-husband was out of sight.
The ex-husband later returned to the apartment and found Cook in the living room with their children and 26-year-old Lisa Williams.
Cook refused to leave the apartment and locked herself in the bathroom while the ex-husband called 911. About 15 seconds later, Cook left the bathroom and walked toward her coat.
She then pulled out a gun and shot Williams multiple times, police reported. Her ex-husband grabbed the pistol and Cook sat by their 3-year-old twin children, who were in the living room during the shooting.
Cook reportedly started to walk to her coat again and her ex-husband restrained her until police officers arrived.
“While waiting for police, Mr. Cook told (the children) to go to their bedroom and lock their door,” according to court documents.
Investigators found four 9mm casings in the apartment. Two bullets were found in the couch in the living room and one bullet was embedded in the wall above a window.
The medical examiner’s office reported Williams had been shot three times in the chest, hip and right leg. She died from her injuries shortly after she was transported to a local hospital.
Family members said Williams made homemade Christmas ornaments and had been decorating a Christmas tree with the twins before the shooting.
Her family also said Cook had harassed Williams on the phone and online for months before the shooting, the Associated Press reported.
Cook is also facing charges for aggravated burglary, a first-degree felony, and two counts of violent offense committed in the presence of a child, both class B misdemeanors. Prosecutors also filed first-, second- and third-degree felony charges for the discharge of a firearm.
She had been employed by Alpine School District for four years, according to a school district spokesperson. She was fired immediately after the district learned of the shooting.
Cook had taught health and yoga at Skyridge High School in Lehi at the time of her arrest and previously worked at Lehi High School.
Her next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 8.