In Raleigh, North Carolina, a local physician will not receive a reduction in his Manslaughter sentence, as requested by his lawyers. Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith, who sentenced Doctor Raymond Cook to a minimum of 36 months in prison last March, denied that the doctor was being forced to serve a longer term than the Involuntary Manslaughter merited.
Cook, age 42, was found guilty of felony death by vehicle; involuntary manslaughter; and driving while impaired
Cook was proved to be legally drunk on the night of Sept. 11, 2009, when he drove his Mercedes at more than 80 mph in a 45-mph zone and slammed into Shapiro’s compact car at an intersection in Raleigh, N.C. Ms. Shapiro, a Carolina Ballet novice, was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Prosecutors stated the hospital found Cook’s blood-alcohol content to be .24, three times the legal limit, at the time of the crash.
According to court records, this was not Cook’s first conviction for driving while seriously impaired. He had previously been stopped in Georgia in for doing 110 mph on a highway. At that time he was also charged with DWI. Investigators testified that in the same year, he was charged with DWI in North Carolina, but for reasons unknown, the case was dropped.
Following the crash, Cook gave up his medical license and left positions at WakeMed and the Chapel Hill School of Medicine. According to state medical board records, Cook was a facial reconstructive plastic surgeon.
Elena was the daughter of university ballet professor Brantly Shapiro.