Doctor Jailed for Crash That Killed Ballerina Denied Reduced Prison Time

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.

Dr Raymond Cook

Dr Raymond Cook

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.

Elena Shapiro's car

Elena Shapiro’s car

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 Shapiro

Elena Shapiro, killed by a habitually drunk doctor.

Elena was the daughter of university ballet professor Brantly Shapiro.



One thought on “Doctor Jailed for Crash That Killed Ballerina Denied Reduced Prison Time

  1. Paul Day Lohan says:

    You sound like you know what you’re talking about! That’s what scares me most.

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