The last time anyone associated with the Washington Redskins opened a can of good old fashion whoop-ass was likely the bludgeoning of John Elway’s Denver Broncos by both Doug Williams and Timmy Smith in Super Bowl XXII. While Jacqueline Kent Cooke may or may not have been a glimmer in her parents’ eyes back in 1988, if the allegations are true as reported by the New York Post and New York Daily News, the heiress now faces criminal charges for at least the second time in her short, but financially enhanced, life. Possibly unfamiliar with the current state of concussions plaguing professional football players, Ms. Kent Cooke is alleged to have made some rather insensitive anti-Semitic statements toward a Jewish lawyer (presumably not former US Senate candidate Roy’s Moore’s Jewish lawyer) followed by a unsportsmanlike slam to the noggin of the fifty plus year old man with her hard sided purse. It is further alleged that Ms. Kent Cooke may have consumed a few too many cocktails
So, with at least three, if not four, full quarters left to play, what is in store for Ms. Kent Cooke as she enjoys the next “few” hours hanging out in Manhattan’s Tombs? What are the potential crimes she may face as she temporarily takes up residence in a dirty jail cell awaiting arraignment in New York County Criminal Court?
Assuming prosecutors find witnesses credible and evidence compelling (and can prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt), on its face Ms. Kent Cooke committed the crime of Second Degree Assault pursuant to New York Penal Law 120.05. Considered a class “D” violent felony, Second Degree Assault is punishable not by seeing the Redskins go through another “winning” off-season by doling out big dollars to high priced free agents while following up with a 7-9 regular season record, but by something slightly more painful. Instead, the young beneficiary of a considerable trust faces a presumptive minimum incarceration of two years in prison and a maximum of seven years in the custody of the New York State Department of Corrections. Is it likely Ms. Kent Cooke would be held to a top count in a felony complaint or find herself indicted by a Grand Jury? No, but this is her potential exposure and does not take into consideration the elevation of charges, if viable, as a hate crime.
If the case is prosecuted as a Second Degree Assault, the likely theory would be that with the intent to cause physical injury to her alleged target, Ms. Kent Cooke in fact caused a physical injury by means of a dangerous instrument. Not commentary on her personal style nor clutch (handbag or purse?), a “dangerous instrument” is any object that can cause this type of injury or more based on how it is used.
Ultimately, whether Ms. Kent Cooke is charged with Second Degree Assault is up to Manhattan prosecutors. Even if she is, Third Degree Assault, New York Penal Law 120.00, is a lesser misdemeanor crime that is the same as Second Degree Assault without a dangerous instrument. Additionally, prosecutors would likely also charged Fourth Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon pursuant to New York Penal Law 265.01(2) for using a dangerous instrument in this violent manner. For that matter, the District Attorney could offer her a Second Degree Harassment or Disorderly Conduct violation, New York Penal Law 240.26 and 240.20 respectively.
Its worth noting that during her 2008 DWI arrest, a report at the time indicated that the police warned Ms. Kent Cooke not drive her BMW in her intoxicated state, but to get a taxi instead. Not taking the police officer’s apparently reasoned advice, a law enforcement spokesman opined that the “arresting officer was really trying to save her from herself . . . and potentially other innocents who would be sharing the road with her.” Sadly, for this purported member of my profession and apparent fellow “Member of the Tribe,” if Ms. Kent Cooke considered finding a proverbial Rabbi to heed life advice a long time ago, he would have had an enjoyable dinner with his family and not a bloodied head. If there is anything good to come from this alleged event, rumors are abound that President Trump has threatened to unleash this millennial on North Korea in lieu of pressing his big desk button.
Saland Law PC is a New York criminal defense law firm representing those accused of Assault and related offenses throughout the New York City and Hudson Valley regions. Saland Law PC’s founding criminal lawyers both served as prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office