Raleigh, NC -- A doctor was found guilty Tuesday after jurors deliberated for two days in the case involving the September 2009 death of a ballerina from Winston-Salem.
Raymond Cook was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, felony death by motor vehicle and DWI in the death of 20-year-old Elena Shapiro. He was sentenced to at least three years in prison.
Judge Osmond Smith issued the punishment Tuesday afternoon, a few hours after a jury convicted Cook.
Prosecutors contend that Cook got drunk and drove up to 100 mph before slamming into the car driven by Elena Shapiro of Winston-Salem in September 2009. Shapiro was an apprentice with the Carolina Ballet.
Annie Bright, Shapiro's aunt, said the crash was not an accident but a deliberate act by Cook because he knew the dangers of his actions.
"That's no different than standing in front of her and shooting her with a gun," Bright said in an emotional plea asking the judge to give him the maximum allowable sentence. Smith did give Cook the maximum punishment, sentencing him to between three and four years in prison.
Cook's lawyers conceded that the former plastic surgeon had been drinking and was driving above the speed limit but argued that he was not acting maliciously.
WFMY News 2/WRAL