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Jury Listens To Witnesses At North Carolina Car Accident Trial


Posted on Feb 20, 2011

A man is under trial for second-degree murder after he took the life of a promising young dancer after driving while under the influence of alcohol and speeding at over twice the posted limit. Now prosecutors are trying to prove that he acted in malice during the Raleigh car accident trial.

The fatal North Carolina car accident took place on September 11, 2009, when physician Raymond Cook slammed into a car containing 20-year-old Elena Bright Shapiro, an aspiring ballerina with a bright future. The accident occurred on Lead Mine Road and Strickland Road in North Raleigh. The doctor, who had a history of alcohol addiction and other issues, had been at a country club as well as a tavern before being cut off and trying to drive home.

To prove second-degree murder, the prosecutors must prove that the man knew that he could cause serious injury or death by speeding down the road drunk. Cook’s defense lawyers are arguing that even though Cook made extremely poor decisions and even though the loss of young life is a terrible tragedy, the drunk driver did not mean to harm anyone as he left the bar and was headed home. Both sides are calling multiple witnesses to the stand, including those who were at the accident scene, those who interacted with Cook before he got into his car, and a statement that the doctor gave after the fatal accident took place.

The North Carolina drunk driving trial should conclude at the end of next week.

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