Ex-girlfriend of man who kidnapped, beat woman says he 'needs to stay' in jail forever

HALLS, TN (WMC) - A Mid-South woman was kidnapped and beaten so badly with a wooden plunger handle that both of her eyes were swollen almost completely shut.

Melissa Terrell is black and blue all over, and Lauderdale County deputies said her boyfriend, Charles Cook, who's currently being held in jail on $350,000 bond, is the man who kidnapped and beat her.

Her family said the two met online back in December.

"I know she's strong, but she's going to need a lot of counseling and a lot of prayer," Terrell's aunt Jeannie Vickery said.

Friday, WMC Action News 5 spoke to his ex-girlfriend over the phone who said she's not surprised. Leslie Young, who has two kids with Cook, said he beat her for years, leading her to file a restraining order against him.

"He beat me repeatedly in front of our child. It was just a nightmare," Young said.

Cook was charged with assault in fall of 2016 after Young said he brutally attacked her while she was pregnant.

"He threatened to drown me. One night he hit me multiple times. One morning I woke up to him choking me, and he had been beating me," Young said.

Cook violated his documented restraining order when deputies said he wrote a letter to his 3-year-old daughter.

"He wrote her a letter with a jail stamp on it and sent it to my house," Young said.

She said Cook belongs in jail forever.

"That is where he belongs. He needs to stay there. If he doesn't stay there, he's going to hurt somebody," Young said.

That case goes before a judge in a few weeks.  As far as Melissa Terrell, who deputies said he beat with a plunger handle, she remains in the hospital.

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