Former bishop Heather Cook will serve seven years for fatal hit-and-run

Christian Today


Former Bishop of Maryland Heather Cook will serve seven years in prison for killing cyclist Tom Palermo. She was driving while drunk.

A Baltimore judge sentenced her to 20 years imprisonment but suspended 13 years. Cook will serve five years for manslaughter followed by two years for leaving the scene of the accident and will serve a further five years on probation on the completion of her term.

Cook was driving her car in Baltimore on December 27, 2014, with more than three times the state’s legal alcohol limit in her bloodstream. She began to text while driving and swerved out of the traffic lane onto the bicycle lane, hitting Palermo from behind. Cook then drove away, returning half an hour later. She drove away again but returned a second time and was arrested.

At the sentencing, Tom Palermo’s mother Patricia told the court that she had asked God many times why he let her son die and had had a revelation. “God didn’t do this,” she said. “Heather Cook killed Tom.”

Cook said: “I am so sorry for the grief and the agony I have caused . This is my fault. I accept complete responsibility.”

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.