Local News

Raleigh doctor indicted again in 2009 DWI death

Posted November 8, 2010

— A grand jury on Monday returned a true bill of indictment for second-degree murder against a doctor charged with killing a 20-year-old ballerina more than a year ago.

Last week, a Wake County judge postponed the trial of Raymond Dwight Cook after prosecutors realized the previous indictment was missing the words “with malice aforethought,” a phrase required for a second-degree murder indictment.

A new trial date and new jury selection is expected next year.

The 43-year-old former facial plastic surgeon is accused of driving 85 mph and striking  the car of Winston-Salem ballerina Elena Bright Shapiro on Sept. 11, 2009.

Witnesses said Cook had been drinking at a Raleigh country club and at a tavern prior to the crash. He also faces charges of driving while impaired and death by motor vehicle.


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  • gmuny33 Nov 9, 2010

    You best believe if he wasn't in the status he is or was in, such a technicality would've been overlooked and gone on about the trial. Next year sounds far away, but that could be Jan. or Feb. I guess he did have enough pull to get him through the holidays. I wish this day wouldn't have ever happened, but to know the young lady was of the same status or quality he believes he is, will hopefully not allow him to skate by, as if she was a 2nd class citizen.

  • Go Figure Nov 8, 2010

    exactly, misterprecedent. Why have one bad apple make those of us who DON'T DRIVE after we have had a drink suffer.

  • Go Figure Nov 8, 2010

    Folks, I am glad the courts are making an example of this man. He is well educated, was respected in the medical community but he did wrong. Bottom line, he made a conscious effort to get into a car wasted and ended a beautiful life. His life as he knew it is over and that's a shame. This story has left me sick to my stomach from the start. But something has got to give with these people that think driving drunk is okay. I say they all deserve the fullest extent of the law.

  • Go Figure Nov 8, 2010

    wonder if he is gonna go out and drown his sorrows...

  • misterprecedent Nov 8, 2010

    There are millions of people in NC who use alcohol responsibly and DON'T risk people's lives after drinking it. It doesn't need to be harder for responsible people to get. The punishment needs to be harsher for those who DON'T use it responsibly.

  • mtadish Nov 8, 2010

    We're basically talking about right and wrong and who should pay here and what the penalty should be. So, why do we stop at charging the person who committed the crime, is it because alcohol is legal? Shouldn't ABC and the State be liable, in some way, for making such a substance legal and available so freely?

    I'm not talking about more governmental control or anything like that.

    Why we are such a vengeful society based on the majority's morals of right and wrong?

  • cc4042 Nov 8, 2010

    Felony Death by Motor Vehicle is not a lesser included offense of 2nd Degree Murder - and Felony Death by MV is a higher class felony than Manslaughter, so that's why there had to be a separate indictment.

  • hangry Nov 8, 2010

    What ever happened to the woman he was partying with that day? There has been no mention of her since right after the accident.

  • Ambygirl Nov 8, 2010

    Yes, wralgolo2, it can be a misdemeanor. My dad was killed by a reckless driver and it was considered a misdemeaner. The charge was death by motor vehicle..

  • kikinc Nov 8, 2010

    I think the reason they've charged him with both is to ensure a conviction of some sort. If the jury isn't convinced it's 2nd degree murder, they can at least convict him of a lesser charge. That way he wouldn't be getting off completely.