Raleigh, NC-- Defense attorneys said evidence against a Raleigh doctor accused in the death of a ballerina would be insufficient to prove the malice necessary for a second-degree murder conviction.
Attorney Roger Smith Jr. made his remarks during opening statements Tuesday in the trial of Raymond Dwight Cook. He is charged with second-degree murder, driving while impaired and felony death by vehicle in the death of 20-year-old ballerina Elena Bright Shapiro of Winston-Salem in September 2009.
While acknowledging that it is an emotional trial, Smith said the jury must work through the sadness in reaching a decision.
Wake County Assistant District Attorney Adam Moyers told the court that Shapiro's death was a direct result of the doctor's decision made earlier in the day to drink and drive.