Maryland judge denies ex-bishop’s bid for early release from prison

FILE - In this April 3, 2015, file photo, Episcopal Bishop Heather Cook leaves Baltimore City Circuit Court in Baltimore with attorney Jose Moline after her arraignment. Cook, a former Episcopal bishop who was drunk when she fatally struck a bicyclist with her vehicle in Baltimore, has applied to work outside prison. The Baltimore Sun reports the Maryland prison system sent a letter July 19, 2018, to the victim's family. It says it's reviewing Cook's application to leave prison during the day. (AP Photo/Juliet Linderman, File)

BALTIMORE (AP) — A Maryland judge has denied a request to reduce a five-year prison sentence for a former Episcopal bishop who was drunk and texting when she struck and killed a bicyclist with her vehicle.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Timothy Doory rejected Heather Cook’s request at a Monday hearing. She had been seeking a reduction by having two of her four sentences changed so they would run concurrently instead of consecutively.

The 62-year-old has served about three years for the 2014 collision that killed Thomas Palermo.

Prosecutors and Palermo’s relatives have opposed Cook’s bid for early release.

Cook was the second-highest-ranking Episcopal leader in Maryland when the crash occurred.

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