FindLaw Blotter - The FindLaw Crime and Criminals Blog

Misty Cook, WI Gunman's Ex, Arrested on Gun Charge

The Wisconsin Sikh temple shooter's ex-girlfriend, Misty Cook, was arrested on a gun charge during a police interview at her home, CBS News reports.

But Cook, 31, of Milwaukee, had nothing to do with the shooting that claimed six lives Sunday, police said. The gunman, Wade Michael Page, was shot by police but died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said Wednesday.

Page lived with Cook until just a few weeks ago, the Los Angeles Times reports. But it was an incident in Cook's past that led to Tuesday's arrest.

Before Misty Cook's arrest on a gun-possession charge, the nursing student and waitress had been convicted of fleeing and eluding police in 2005, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Because of Cook's felony conviction, she cannot legally possess a firearm. But police allegedly found a gun in Cook's possession when they questioned her Tuesday about Wade Michael Page. Cook was arrested on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

In general, federal law prohibits convicted felons from possessing firearms. It's a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Wisconsin law also prohibits convicted felons from possessing guns. While some states lift this prohibition after a certain number of years, Wisconsin generally requires a pardon from the governor before a felon can obtain a gun permit, according to the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau.

In gun possession cases, criminal defense lawyers often try to prove a defendant did not actually "possess" the gun -- perhaps it was someone else's, just lying around -- or that police did something improper. It's not clear what defenses, if any, Cook may try to raise.

After Misty Cook's arrest, she apparently tried to distance herself from Wade Michael Page and his white-supremacist ties. "I hope that people will look to supporting the victims and their families at this time," she told the Los Angeles Times via email Wednesday.

Related Resources: