The wife of a former Mohave County sheriff's son was sentenced Tuesday in Superior Court to six and a half years in prison for shooting her estranged husband.
Cook pleaded guilty in October to aggravated assault by domestic violence in the shooting of Christopher Cook, son of late Sheriff Joe Cook.
Christie Cook, 42, originally had been charged with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault and first-degree burglary in the shooting of Christopher Cook.
Cook could have received up to 21 years in prison for the attempted murder charge if convicted.
Because of the plea agreement, she would have been sentenced to five to seven and a half years.
Mohave County Legal Defender Ron Gilleo called Cook's first husband, her daughter and a friend to testify of her physical and verbal abuse at the hands of Christopher Cook.
They spoke of bruises and other injuries suffered by Cook.
In seeking the minimum sentence, Gilleo also spoke of Christie Cook's lack of a prior criminal record or any trouble during her first 18-year marriage.
Defense witness Kathleen Ferraro, a professor from Arizona State University and expert on battered woman's syndrome, testified that alcohol and drug abuse is a common way of coping with domestic violence.
Ferraro said violence was escalating to the point where Christopher Cook had threatened to kill his wife.
Those who retaliate with violence feel their lives are threatened, Ferraro said.
She also testified that Christie Cook became extremely depressed during the months prior to the shooting.
Deputy Mohave County Attorney Greg McPhillips argued for a longer sentence, saying that there was mutual emotional and controlling abuse between the couple.
"This was not one-sided as presented by the defense," McPhillips said.
"The abuse goes both ways."
McPhillips also said Cook endangered children playing in the driveway when she shot her husband.
He argued that Christopher Cook's wounds were aggravating factors for a stiffer sentence.
Judge Robert Moon said that he found there was some mutual combat between the couple but that Cook shot her husband once then left.
"I don't see it as attempted murder," Moon said.
Moon also rejected the idea that Christopher Cook was protected by the sheriff's office because of his late father.
Cook was convicted and served a prison term for several felony charges while his father was sheriff, Moon added.
Moon also lamented that domestic violence is the fact of life in this country and that in many cases boys grow up thinking it is OK to beat a wife who is not perfect.
"We haven't seen the tip of the iceberg," Moon said.
During a previous hearing, Christopher Cook, who did not attend the sentencing, refuted his wife's defense, saying he was the victim of domestic abuse and that her bruises were the result of her drinking.
On July 17, Mohave County sheriff's deputies were called to a residence in the 3000 block of Jagerson Avenue where they discovered Cook, 37, had been shot in the shoulder.
Cook told deputies his wife shot him with a .357-caliber Magnum handgun.
Police arrested Christie Cook at a residence on Windsor Avenue.
Christopher Cook's father was the predecessor to current Sheriff Tom Sheahan, serving from 1989 to 1996.