Woman shot in the neck by police sentenced for high-speed chase

AUBURN — A woman who was shot in the neck by police after a high-speed chase in Lewiston last year has pleaded guilty to eluding an officer and criminal operating under the influence, and no contest to reckless conduct.

Kristy Lee Cookson, 29, of Manchester was sentenced in Androscoggin County Superior Court on Wednesday to what equaled four years of probation and time served. The sentence included:

— For eluding police: four years in prison, with all but 238 days suspended, and two years of probation.

— For reckless conduct: three years in prison, all suspended, and two years of probation to be served consecutively with the probation for eluding police.

— For operating under the influence: 10 days in jail, to be served at the same time as her sentence for eluding police.

She will also lose her driver's license for three years and must pay a $700 fine, plus fees and surcharges.

Because Cookson has been in jail since her arrest in December 2009, she has served all of the time required. She was released Wednesday and is now on probation.

On Dec. 1, Cookson led police on a chase through downtown Lewiston in a stolen pickup, reaching speeds of 80 mph. Eventually, she crashed into a parked car and came to a stop. When she refused to get out of the truck and the vehicle suddenly lurched in the direction of two local police officers, they drew their handguns and shot at the truck. A bullet struck Cookson in the neck.

The round apparently mushroomed when it passed through a window. The slug lodged in her neck muscle in front of her vertebrae and behind her esophagus, according to court records. The surgeon who removed it called Cookson "very lucky."

Cookson has an extensive criminal history in Maine and Florida. She was charged 16 times in Broward County, Fla., according to court records there. Charges included child abuse, drug possession, eluding a police officer, resisting arrest and operating after suspension.

In Maine, Cookson was convicted in 2008 on one count of domestic violence assault and sentenced to 120 days in jail, with all suspended. She violated her probation on that charge and served eight days in jail.

Since Cookson's Maine driver's license was issued, she has been involved in one previous accident and, since 2008, has been convicted of one count of operating under the influence, operating without a license, operating an unregistered vehicle, failure to pay a fine, failure to display an inspection sticker, failure to produce evidence of insurance and three convictions for failing to appear in court on separate charges of failing to report an accident, driving without a license and operating under the influence of liquor. Cookson's license was suspended for seven months for failure to take a Breathalyzer test.

For the Dec. 1, 2009, incident she was indicted on six charges: eluding an officer, reckless conduct, violation of condition of release, unlawful possession of scheduled drugs, driving to endanger and criminal operating under the influence. As part of her plea agreement Wednesday, three charges — violating condition of release, possessing scheduled drugs and driving to endanger — were dropped.

Cookson said little Wednesday except, "Yes, your honor," and, "No, your honor." Before Justice Donald Marden sentenced her, he asked if she wanted to say anything more.

"I would like to apologize for what I did," she said. "I'm really — I'm trying to change. I want to change."

ltice@sunjournal.com

Jose Leiva/Sun Journal

Kristy Lee Cookson pleads guilty to eluding an officer and operating under the influence on Wednesday in Androscoggin County Superior Court in Auburn. She also pleaded no contest to reckless conduct.

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Comments

 's picture

Another chance

Everybody deserves another chance and sitting in jail since December 2009 is a long time to think about change! Good Luck to you Miss Cookson!

ROGER COUTURIER's picture

Cookson

Oh yes, I forgot, she said she was sorry! What a farce!

ROGER COUTURIER's picture

Kristy Cookson

Our judicial system needs reform. Read her history of total disrespect for the law and also trying to run over two police officers and now she is free. That is a bunch of bull. No one is safe when people like her are allowed to be free to continue to disregard the law. So sad. Who will be her next victim?

 's picture

What a fine upstanding citizen

This car chase was a long one; it ended right behind Geiger Elementary, either the end of Central or Hogan, I can't remember now. Regardless of where it occurred, she put many innocent people in jeopardy by driving under the influence and then being an idiot and driving recklessly as well. I don't think she by any means has served a sentence equal to her crimes and am disgusted that she is already on probation. I definitely do not believe that this woman will change and I expect that she will also be caught operating without her license in the very near future...hopefully she won't be charged with vehicular manslaughter in the future.

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