Woman shot after police chase expected to plead guilty

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AUBURN — A Manchester woman who was shot by police following a high-speed chase in Lewiston last year is expected to plead guilty next month to related charges.

Kristy Lee Cookson, 29, was indicted by a grand jury on charges of:

• Eluding an officer;

• Reckless conduct;

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• Violation of condition of release;

• Unlawful possession of scheduled drugs;

• Driving to endanger; and

• Criminal operating under the influence.

Two of the charges are felonies.

She pleaded not guilty in Androscoggin County Superior Court in January.

Police said Cookson led them on a chase through downtown Lewiston in a stolen pickup truck, reaching speeds of 80 mph.

She crashed into a parked car and came to a stop, police said. Two local police officers drew their service handguns and shot at the truck when she refused to get out and it lurched suddenly in their direction, police said.

A bullet struck Cookson in the neck. A surgeon who removed it called her “very lucky.” The round apparently mushroomed when it passed through a window before it lodged in her neck muscle in front of her vertebrae and behind her esophagus, according to court records.

Prosecutors filed a motion seeking a psychological evaluation for Cookson, who has an extensive criminal history in Maine and Florida. Deputy District Attorney Craig Turner wrote in his motion that, “Ms. Cookson has exhibited bizarre behavior over the past several years.”

An exam was scheduled for the end of April.

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