Judge Sets $2.5 Million Bail in the Fatal Hit-and-Run Accident
In the final days of 2014, Bishop Heather Cook killed cyclist Tom Palermo in a DWI crash that has rocked the Episcopal Church and the Baltimore community where the collision occurred. Bishop Cook has been charged with DWI and manslaughter in the December 27 accident in Roland Park.
Despite her prestigious position as the second highest-ranking Bishop in Maryland, the judge justly gave no special treatment to Bishop Cook when she appeared at her bond hearing on Monday. Bishop Cook’s bail is set at $2.5 million, an amount she is unlikely to post. The bishop will presumably remain incarcerated until trial. The Episcopal Diocese has also placed Bishop Cook on administrative leave.
Leaving the Scene of the Accident, Texting and Drunk Driving
Bishop Cook was drunk when she climbed behind the wheel of her
Subaru Forester — before 2:30 on the Saturday afternoon just after
Christmas. As she texted. she veered off the quiet
suburban road and struck Mr. Palermo. The cyclist flew onto the hood of
the Subaru and smashed into the windshield before landing on the curb.
It gets worse. Instead of stopping to help, this woman of God fled to her home. She returned to the scene 30 minutes later, enough time to have possibly rendered necessary assistance to the severely injured
cyclist. She registered a whopping .22 percent BAC on the Breathalyzer test
administered immediately after the accident.
And it gets even worse. The bishop has a previous DWI on her record. In 2010, her BAC was even higher, a stunning .27 percent. She was also found with wine, liquor and marijuana in
car. She plead guilty to DWI and was merely sentenced to probation in that
Drunk Driving and Texting While Driving Ruin Lives
Sadly Thomas Palermo
died from his injuries. He and his wife of seven years had a six
year-old daughter and a four year-old son who have now lost their dad. The
brilliant 41 year-old man was a senior software engineer at Johns
Hopkins Hospital. Known as an avid cyclist, Mr. Palermo custom built
bikes as well as rode frequently. In every picture of him, he is smiling brightly and is described by his friend as having “a glint in his eye.”
Bishop Cook’s life is also virtually over. Maryland’s first female
bishop, the 58 year-old woman now faces 20 years in prison and the
greater penalty of knowing she took the life of a truly good man.
Consult with a Dedicated PI Lawyer If You Were Injured In A Collision in Dallas-Fort Worth
Berenson Law Firm
regularly represents victims injured in DWI and texting while driving
accidents. Call us at 817-885-8000 to learn about your rights.