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Charges Upgraded For Driver Accused Of Killing Winston-Salem Ballerina

1:08 PM, Sep 15, 2009   |    comments
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Raleigh, NC -- The Raleigh doctor charged in connection with the death of a Winston-Salem ballerina is now facing second-degree murder charges.

Investigators said a car, driven by Raymond Cook, crashed into the back of 20-year-old Elena Shapiro's car on Strickland Road in Raleigh on Friday.  Shapiro, a ballerina with the Carolina Ballet, died at the hospital.

Cook was arrested and initially charged with death by motor vehicle and driving while impaired.  He was released on bond.  On Tuesday, a judge upgraded the charges to second-degree murder and he is being held at the Wake County jail under a $2 million bond.

Authorities say a prior DWI conviction in Georgia and speeding were factors in the new charges.  Police say cook was driving 90 in a 45 mile per hour zone at the time of the wreck. 

The funeral for Elena Shapiro was held Tuesday morning at Wait Chapel on the campus of Wake Forest University.  She had been training with the Carolina Ballet in Raleigh at the time of the accident.

WRAL, Raleigh / WFMY News 2

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