BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A former Episcopal bishop who fatally hit a young father while she was driving drunk wants out of prison.
The former bishop, Heather Cook, is asking a judge to alter her sentence, less than four years after killing the man while he was riding his bike on Roland Ave.
She was drunk, texting and left the scene where 41-year-old Thomas Palermo was left to die in a bike lane.
His family is adamant that they do not want her to walk free, with 20 letters from family and friends begging a judge to deny her request.
She has served less than three years after she hit the cyclist two days after Christmas in 2014. But now she is asking the court to alter her sentence in a way that would make her eligible for release in early November.
State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby fired back against the motion, saying the list of Cook’s “prison accomplishments,” should not be the basis for a reduction of prison time.
Mosby wrote, “To the contrary, the defendant should not benefit for simply comporting herself as an educated adult,”
Cook was the number two leader in the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland when she drunkenly slammed into Palermo and then fled the scene.
He was a father of two children, husband and only child.
Palermo’s family and friends are now begging the judge to keep Cook behind bars.
His wife wrote in a letter, “Our pain is still fresh. Our pain is still deep. Please stand by your original sentencing decision,”
His father wrote that while Cook will spend only a few years in lock-up, he has “received a life sentence of grief and sorrow,”
Cook is set to be released next August unless her motion is granted.
A hearing is set for November 5.