Crimes of Passion

Woman Was Making Christmas Decorations With Boyfriend’s Twins When His Ex-Wife Allegedly Gunned Her Down

Lisa Vilate Williams’ family says Chelsea Cook bullied her for months, but Williams didn't want to report her to police because of how it could affect her alleged killer's children.

A woman gunned down in her boyfriend's Utah apartment, allegedly by his ex-wife, had been creating homemade Christmas decorations with his 3-year-old twins at the time of the attack.

Chelsea Watrous Cook, a 32-year-old high school health and yoga teacher, has been charged in the death of 26-year-old Lisa Vilate Williams. Cook allegedly barged into the Salt Lake City home of ex-husband Travis Cook Nov. 25, pulled out a gun and shot Williams multiple times, according to the Associated Press.

Williams' family said she had been the victim of bullying and harrassment by Cook for months.

"I worried for her safety every day," mother Tawny Williams told the Associated Press, describing how Cook allegedly harrassed her daughter both online and in-person. 

Williams' family said she loved children and was excited to celebrate the holidays with them.

"I spoke to her an hour or so before it all happened, and she was so excited ... to give those kids something happy," sister Bekah Williams told the Associated Press.

The slain woman’s family said that she was looking forward to spending holiday time with her boyfriend's twins so much that she even left her own family's Thanksgiving celebration in Arizona early.

Bekah Williams told the Associated Press that her sister didn’t want to report Chelsea Cook's alleged bullying to police because she didn’t want to make the situation harder on the children.

"In hindsight, I think the best thing for the kids would have been to call the police every time," Bekah Williams said.

Cook allegedly fired three to five rounds at Williams, according to police documents cited by The Salt Lake Tribune. Travis was able to take the gun away from his ex-wife at some point, according to police. He then was able to provide help to Williams, but it was too late. She died later in the day. Travis Cook then pinned down his ex-wife until police arrived.

Cook has been charged with aggravated murder in the first degree and is being held on $1 million bond, according to jail records.

[Photo: Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office]

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