Local News

Doctor offered plea deal in ballerina's death

Posted May 17, 2010 1:06 p.m. EDT
Updated May 17, 2010 1:17 p.m. EDT

— Wake County prosecutors are offering a plea deal to a Raleigh doctor charged in a DWI wreck that killed a ballerina.

Assistant District Attorney Jeff Cruden said in court Monday morning that the details would remain confidential until Raymond Dwight Cook and his attorney decide whether to accept the deal.

If he rejects the deal, Cruden said the state is prepared to take the case to trial.

Raleigh police said Cook, of 10516 Beckridge Lane, was traveling 90 mph when he crashed into the back of Elena Bright Shapiro's vehicle at Lead Mine and Strickland roads the evening of Sept. 11.

Shapiro, 20, of Winston-Salem, died as a result of the crash.

Cook had been drinking at a local country club and at a local tavern prior to the crash, witnesses said.

Cook, who is out of jail on a $250,000 bond on charges of second-degree murder and driving while impaired, reportedly underwent rehab out of state.

Public records indicate he has a DWI conviction from 1989 in Camden County, Ga., where he pleaded no contest to the charge.

A ballerina with the Carolina Ballet, Shapiro had been in Raleigh rehearsing for "Swan Lake."