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Bail Set For $2.5M For Bishop Charged In Cyclist's Death

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Bail remains the same---$2.5 million---for the Episcopal church bishop charged in the December drinking and driving death of a Baltimore bicyclist.

Derek Valcourt has new information learned during Monday's court hearing.

Prosecutors asked the judge to revoke bail. That didn't happen, but for now, the bishop remains locked up. Her attorney says she's unlikely to be able to come up with the $2.5 million needed to post bail.

Fifty-eight-year-old Episcopal church Bishop Heather Cook does have an alcohol problem, her attorney told a district court judge at her Monday bail review hearing. Cook's attorney said after the fatal accident that killed bicyclist and father of two Thomas Palermo, Cook spent 12 days at Father Martin's Ashley: a posh, non-denominational rehab facility in Havre de Grace, which boasts online of its treatment programs for alcoholism and drug addiction.

"And we integrate the science of medicine with the art of therapy in a spiritual environment," said Father Martin.

Cook turned herself into police Friday when new city state's attorney Marilyn Mosby filed charges, including manslaughter and DUI, saying Cook had a blood alcohol level of .22, nearly three times the legal limit, and that she was texting when her car struck Palermo as they traveled in the same direction on Roland Avenue December 27.

"It is alleged that Cook failed to remain at the scene of the accident and continued south on Roland Avenue. Roughly 30 minutes later, she returned to the scene," Mosby said.

Prosecutors called Cook a flight risk and asked that she be held without bail. The judge denied that request but also refused to lower Cook's bail as requested by her attorney, saying she showed a careless indifference to life by leaving the scene of the accident.

Cook's next court hearing is set for February 6; that is likely to be postponed.

Cook said nothing during her court appearance Monday afternoon.

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