A 58-year-old Episcopal Bishop was arrested on Dec. 27 after she struck and killed a bicyclist with her automobile in Maryland. The woman is currently facing manslaughter, hit-and-run and DUI charges relating to the incident. Authorities claim that the bishop was not just drunk; they say that she was also texting while driving. The tragic and fatal accident claimed the life of a 41-year-old bicyclist who was a husband and father.
Not the Bishop's First DUI
In addition, it has more recently been revealed that the bishop -- who is the first female Episcopal Bishop to be appointed in Maryland -- has battled alcoholism for years, and she was even arrested for drunk driving before. The first time she was arrested for DUI was in 2010. After that incident, she vowed that it would be a wake-up call and that she had new motivation to change.
At the time of her first arrest, the woman was not a bishop yet. Now, people are asking why the Episcopal Church would appoint an alcoholic with a prior drunk driving arrest to serve as bishop.
No Response to Resignation Request
After the arrest, the bishop posted bail of $2.5 million and checked herself into an addiction treatment facility. She was also asked to resign as bishop. As of last reports, the woman was still receiving treatment at the addiction facility while awaiting her next court date, which will happen this Friday. She has not responded to the request that she resign.
If the bishop is found guilty of all the charges being brought against her, she could be sentenced to a 20-plus year prison term. That said, criminal consequences are not the only legal challenges she could face. Family members of the father who was killed may wish to pursue wrongful death claims against the woman. If she is found guilty of her criminal charges relating to manslaughter, hit-and-run and DUI, such a conviction would serve to bolster any civil claims for wrongful death damages brought against her.
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