BALTIMORE (WJZ) –The first female bishop of the Episcopal Church of Maryland was arraigned this morning. Bishop Heather Cook is accused of driving drunk, hitting and killing Baltimore cyclist Tom Palermo.
Rick Ritter has new details in the case.
Facing cameras for the first time, Bishop Heather Cook is back in the spotlight. Cook, at the center of a hit and run that rocked the cycling community –now has her trial set for June 4th.
In February, the bishop was slammed with a 13 count indictment.
This, after prosecutors say she was driving drunk along Roland Avenue before striking and killing cyclist and father of two Tom Palermo.
Investigators say Cook’s blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit and she was texting and driving.
A 2010 DUI exposes Cook’s battle against addiction. The Episcopal Diocese expects Cook was inebriated during a private dinner before she was consecrated as Bishop Suffragan .
On Thursday, Cook looked stone-faced at times as her Attorney Dave Irwin speaks out.
“The plea at the moment is not guilty to all charges but we’re still going through the…we’re all saying our prayers, it’s a horrible situation,” said Dave Irwin, Cook’s Attorney.
A traumatic ordeal for the Palermo family– hoping for justice in a tragedy that shattered hearts across the region.
“We know this is the first step in a long process so we’re looking forward to having this resolved and to see justice,” said Elisa Rock, Palermo family member.
The Episcopal Diocese asked Cook to resign. When asked about her current status, Attorney Dave Irwin declined to comment.
If convicted of all charges Cook could face more than 20 years in prison.