Yesterday, Ex-Bishop Heather Cook, who you will remember hit and killed a biker in Roland Park while she was driving drunk and then fled the scene, pleaded guilty to manslaughter, drunken driving, texting while driving, and leaving the scene of a fatal accident. Cook’s blood alcohol concentration that tested after the accident was nearly three-times the legal limit. As a result of these events, it was discovered that this was not the first time she was in trouble for drinking and driving. In 2010, Cook was convicted of a DUI on the Eastern Shore, but nobody was hurt in that incident. Unfortunately, this time she struck and killed a 41 year old husband and father of two young children.
The plea deal asks the Judge to sentence Cook to a maximum of 20 years in prison with 10 years suspended, which the State recommended. In addition, there would be 5 years of probation included in the plea deal. A Baltimore City Circuit Court judge will sentence Cook on October 27, 2015. It is interesting to note that Cook originally pleaded not guilty during her preliminary hearing in April.
This case is a perfect example of the horrific consequences of drinking and driving for both the offender and any victim injured or killed as a result. An arrest for a DUI alone carries severe penalties, but a DUI combined with a manslaughter charge, that means you are driving drunk and kill somebody, carries extremely serious consequences, including jail time.
If you or a family member has been charged with DUI in Maryland and would like a free legal consultation or if you would like more information on DUI or DWI please feel free to contact our office at (301) 854-9000 to schedule an appointment at our office in Baltimore or one of our many other offices located throughout Maryland or visit us on the web at http://www.portnerandshure.com/Criminal-Defense/DWI-DUI/