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Thu May 2, 2019, 08:06 AM

Ex-bishop to be released after serving half her prison sentence for bicyclist's death

Ex-bishop to be released after serving half her prison sentence for bicyclist’s death

By Jonathan M. Pitts
May 1 at 6:35 PM

Heather Cook, the former Episcopal bishop who garnered national and international headlines after fatally striking a Baltimore bicyclist with her car while driving drunk two days after Christmas in 2014, will be released from prison this month after serving a little more than half her original sentence.

Gerard Shields, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, said the department withholds prisoners’ release dates for safety reasons, but Cook would be freed “sometime around the middle of May.” ... If that’s the case, Cook, 62, will have served just over 3˝ years of the seven-year sentence she was given on four criminal charges in connection with the crash that killed bicyclist Thomas Palermo, a software engineer and married father of two, on Dec. 27, 2014. ... Cook pleaded guilty to the charges — including automobile manslaughter, drunken driving, texting while driving and leaving the scene of a collision — in 2015.
....

Cook had applied for early release several times, including for parole in 2017, for a work-release program in 2018, and for home detention in 2018 and earlier this year. She was denied each time. ... Members of the Palermo family have vehemently opposed each of Cook’s efforts to be released early and have harshly criticized her behavior, including the fact that she admittedly left the crash scene and did not return until 30 minutes later.

“Each of Cook’s attempts to reduce her sentence — applications for parole, house arrest, work release, now . . . one for modification — traumatizes my sister and her family anew,” Palermo’s sister-in-law, Alisa Rock, said of Palermo’s widow, Rachel, and the couple’s children in November. “This trauma will affect them all for the rest of their lives, and it’s only appropriate that Heather Cook serve out her original sentence not only for the act of killing Tom, but for leaving him there. Especially for leaving him there, for abdicating responsibility for what she did.”
....

— Baltimore Sun

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Reply Ex-bishop to be released after serving half her prison sentence for bicyclist's death (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves May 2019 OP
3Hotdogs May 2019 #1
pimpbot May 2019 #2
seltzerwater May 2019 #3

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2019, 01:06 PM

1. I have mixed feelings on it.

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Response to 3Hotdogs (Reply #1)

Thu May 2, 2019, 08:52 PM

2. Mixed feelings?

This wasn't her first run in with drunk driving. She left the scene. She has had many chances to reform her life and failed to do so. 3.5 years for murder seems light to me. I wouldn't be opposed to some sort of trade off of her working to help the community (litter pickup, feeding homeless, public speaking at schools warning of the dangers of drunk driving, etc). I followed all of the lead up to the trial and she seemed very remorseless. Trying every trick in the book to reduce her sentence. Seems to be one of those "the rules don't apply to me" types.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri May 3, 2019, 10:04 AM

3. She should serve the full sentence and More

She destroyed a mans life. Tom was my co-worker.
3.5 years is a pittance, she should rot in a cell for her careless disregard for her driving and texting while drunk.

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