Cook murder trial postponed

A Baltimore City Judge has postponed the manslaughter trial of the former Suffragan Bishop of Maryland to September.

A Baltimore City Judge has postponed the manslaughter trial of the former Suffragan Bishop of Maryland to September. On 4 June 2015, the first day of trial, attorneys for Heather Cook asked the court to allow them further time to prepare their defense. The court granted the motion, continuing the current terms of bail. In April Cook pled not-guilty to multiple criminal counts arising from the December 2014 death of Thomas Palermo. Cook struck Palermo with her car and was allegedly intoxicated, with a blood alcohol level 0.22 (three times the legal limit). She also is alleged to have been texting when she struck the cyclist, who died at the scene. The Episcopal Church on 1 May 2015 deposed Cook from the ordained ministry for conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy. In its statement, the Presiding Bishop’s Office said: “Pursuant to Title IV of the Canons of The Episcopal Church, the Presiding Bishop and Bishop Cook have reached an Accord. Under the terms of the Accord, Bishop Cook will receive a Sentence of Deposition, pursuant to which she shall be ‘deprived of the right to exercise the gifts and spiritual authority of God’s word and sacraments conferred at ordination.’ As such, Cook will no longer function as an ordained person in The Episcopal Church. The Accord resolves all ecclesiastical disciplinary matters involving Cook. This Accord is separate from any resolution of employment matters involving Cook and the Diocese of Maryland as well as from criminal matters pending in the secular courts.

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