Former Maryland Episcopalian Bishop, Heather Cook, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges including manslaughter and driving while intoxicated after a cyclist died last year in Baltimore.
Cook had just been appointed as the first female bishop in the diocese before the incident happened. On Dec. 27, 2014, Cook lost control and drove her car into a bike lane in North Baltimore that cost the life of the 41-year-old cyclist, Thomas Palermo, the Washington Post reported.
When Cook hit the cyclist, Palermo was thrown on the windshield of her car. Palermo immediately died due to a severe blunt force trauma leaving behind a wife and two children,according to the Associated Press. The newly appointed bishop fled the scene and went straight to her home. She later returned and was tested at the police station. Cook's blood alcohol content was 0.22 percent. The limit in Maryland is 0.08 percent.
Fifty-eight-year old Cook copped her plea one day before her trial was expected to begin. She pleaded guilty to the charges of automobile manslaughter, leaving the scene of the crime, driving while she was intoxicated and texting while driving her vehicle.
Cook resigned from the second-highest position in her diocese after the charges against her were filed. The church also withdrew her clergy credentials, according to NBC News.
The deal calls for the judge to sentence Cook on Oct. 27 to a maximum of 20 years in prison. The state recommended 10 years suspended. That recommendation is inclusive for probation for five years.
She previously pleaded not guilty in April and was set free on $2.5 million bail.