Bishop who killed cyclist while driving drunk gets 7 years

AP News
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Posted: Oct 27, 2015 4:39 PM

BALTIMORE (AP) — An Episcopal bishop who killed a bicyclist in Baltimore while driving drunk has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

Heather Cook, a bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, pleaded guilty last month to manslaughter, drunken driving and leaving the scene. She fatally struck 41-year-old cyclist Tom Palermo on Dec. 27. The impact threw Palermo onto Cook's hood and into the windshield of her car. He died of severe blunt force trauma to the head, leaving behind a wife and two young children.

Prosecutors say Cook left the scene for 30 minutes before returning. She was texting when the accident occurred, and her blood-alcohol level was 0.22 percent.

A judge sentenced Cook on Tuesday to 20 years with all but seven suspended. Prosecutors had asked for a 10-year prison term.