Bartenders recall doctor's alcohol intake before crash

RALEIGH Police say Cook was intoxicated and driving more than 80 miles an hour in a 45 mph zone just before he crashed into 20-year-old ballerina Elena Shapiro's car on Strickland Road in Raleigh in September of 2009.

On Tuesday, jurors heard from a Mercedes expert, about the "fault codes" left in the computer in the doctor's car at the time of the crash.

Mercedes mechanic Steven Lewis told the courtroom that the fault code was set at 88 miles per hour.

Jurors also heard from a former Raleigh Country Club bartender, who testified that Dr. Cook started ordering alcohol around noon on the day of the crash that killed Shapiro -- the accident happened eight hours later.

The former bartender told jurors that when Cook showed up at the country club - where he was a member - he ordered a salad and went to change into golf clothes. The bartender said Cook showed up at the Raleigh Country Club still wearing his hospital scrubs. Before playing golf, he made another order.

“He asked for two cans of Bud Light to take onto the course to play,” former bartender Frank Richards said.

Richards said that at some point during the day, Dr. Cook also ordered a liquor drink in a styrofoam cup. When Richards went off-duty, Marcus Grant took over bartending in the men’s lounge. Grant said Cook came in bragging about his golf game and ordered more drinks—for himself and his two playing partners.

On cross-examination by Cook’s attorney, Grant said he did not notice Cook being drunk when he came in. He also said Cook drank three Crown Royal and ginger ale cocktails.

Grant said although there were four of Cook's favorite whiskey drinks on his tab that day, he only saw him drink three between 5 and 6 p.m. But Grant said he did not see any warning signs of drunkenness.

Other testimony indicates Dr. Cook left the country club around 6 p.m. and ordered drinks at Piper’s Tavern, which is not far from the scene of the crash, which happened around 8:30 p.m.

Jurors also heard from a lab technician Tuesday, who said Dr. Cook’s blood-alcohol content hours after the crash was .19, which is more than twice the legal limit.

Richards also testified that drinks were available in a cart on the golf course. The prosecution presented no evidence showing that Cook ordered from the cart.

Shapiro - of Winston-Salem - was a dancer with the Carolina Ballet.

Click here to watch video of Shapiro dancing with the NC School of the Arts.

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