Thursday, May 11, 2017

Cook denied parole, but why was she even eligible?

We spoke before about the efforts of disgraced former bishop Heather Cook to gain parole following her conviction for killing a man who was riding his bicycle in a marked bike lane in 2014.

If you live in Baltimore, you know the story: Cook was 3-times-the-limit drunk as she steered her deathmobile down Roland Avenue two days after Christmas.  She was texting.  She ran over Thomas Palermo, a well-regarded husband, father, and software engineer.

Had that been the sum of the case, it would have been bad enough, but no. Cook turned her car around and drove on home to take care of her dog.  The fact that Palermo's helmet was stuck in her windshield might have served as a reminder to call someone to help the man, but she didn't give two whistles about him, just the dog. This woman of Christ did what the devil himself wouldn't do as she left Palermo to die in the street.  When she got home, she called her boyfriend and a coworker. It was only later that someone persuaded her to turn herself in, and she is now a resident of the women's penitentiary in Jessup, where the parole hearing was held the other day.

A parole hearing, that is, from which Parole Commission Chairman David Blumberg emerged to say that the two people making the decision "denied Cook parole in part because she took no responsibility for her actions and displayed a lack of remorse during the 90-minute hearing."

A woman who once led an entire segment of the religious population here, following her second DWI conviction in which she killed a man, expressed no remorse?  Took no responsibility?

Blumberg told reporters Cook had a great deal to say during the ninety-minute hearing, that she said her alcoholism is a disease and called the parole process a "brutal irony." 

She did not apologize to Rachel Palermo, Thomas's widow and the mother of his two children.

Image result for heather cook
From the house of God to the Big House

Cook is no longer eligible for parole. The earliest she could get back to her dog is now March 23, 2020, unless she exhibits good behavior and participates in prison social programs, in which case she might get out in 2019, but let's hope not, for the good of all us. 

And that gives us all time to inquire of our lawmakers in this state just WHY someone can get drunk and smash another person to death with their two-ton vehicle and be eligible for parole after serving just one quarter of their sentence because vehicular manslaughter is a "non-violent" offense.  

Please ask the Palermo family how they feel about that.

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