It had been suggested earlier this week that the trial for Heather Cook, former Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Maryland, for the vehicular death of bicyclist Thomas Palermo, would be postponed. Thursday morning, the attorneys for both sides in the case were seen in consultation at the judge’s bench. Afterward, Circuit Judge Wanda K. Heard, advised Cook of her right to a speedy trial. Cook acknowledged she understood her right, waived her right and agreed to the postponement that had been requested by her attorney, David Irwin.
“We would hope that we could resolve the case without trial for everyone’s sake,” including the family of 41-year-old bicyclist Thomas Palermo, David Irwin said outside Baltimore Circuit Court.
In comments made, after the hearing, on the circuit courthouse steps, as Cook stood silently behind him, Irwin acknowledged that Cook wished not to proceed with a contested trial and that the postponement gave him time to approach the prosecutor in the case regarding a plea agreement. Mr Irwin stated that Ms Cook would not make any comments to the press on advice of counsel. After Irwin spoke to the press, Cook walked to the corner and entered a U-Haul van. Irwin explained that the van had been rented to allow Cook to finish removing her personal belongings from her former apartment and her former Dio Maryland office.
Cook, released on a bail of $2.5 million, has so far pleaded not guilty to the 13 counts brought against her, for which, if she was convicted, could result in 20 years in prison. A plea deal may allow her to avoid such a lengthy sentence.
After the hearing, Alisa Rock, Thomas Palermo’s siter-in-law, stated that the family was disappointed that the trial was delayed. She committed the family to seeking justice for Palermo, “We will continue to be here for as long as it takes to get justice.”
You may read the full article from which this story is drawn here.
Photo above from the Baltimore Sun.
Posted by David Allen