By Rick Ritter

BALTIMORE, Md. (WJZ)—Bishop Heather Cook is out on bail after being released from the Baltimore City Detention Center on Thursday.

Cook is facing charges on manslaughter and DUI following the hit-and-run crash that killed Baltimore cyclist Tom Palermo.

Ritter Ritter has more on the bishop’s release.

“Highly unlikely,” just days ago, that’s how Bishop Heather Cook’s attorney described her chances of posting a pricey $2.5 bail.

But tonight, the 58-year-old at the center of a hit-and-run is no longer behind bars.

Her attorney released this statement saying, “Bishop Cook has been released pending trial and is returning to an inpatient treatment facility.”

After the fatal accident in December that killed bicyclist and father of two Thomas Palermo. Cook spent 12 days at Father Martin’s Ashley—an upscale rehab facility in Havre de Grace, that’s treated celebrities like Russell Brand and Chris Farley.

In a letter posted to their website, the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland’s top bishop says, “There are still too many questions for which there are no easy answers, and we’re filled with anger, bitterness, pain and tears.”

“We want Heather Cook to get the help she needs,” said Sharon Tillman, of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland.

WJZ sat down with the Episcopal Diocese, questioning their knowledge of Cook’s history of drunk driving—something she was arrested for a few years ago.

Rick: Is it inexcusable to miss an incident like that?

Sharon: Looking back in hind sight, that’s what we’re reacting to now.

But say that their thoughts and prayers are first and foremost with the Palermo family.

According to reports, a 28 day program at Father Martin’s can cost $20,000.

If convicted of all charges, Cook could face more than 20 years in prison.

Her next court hearing is scheduled for February 6th.

READ: Md. Episcopal Leader Speaks Out About Fatal Hit-and-Run

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Rick Ritter

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