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Illinois judge charged with heroin, gun possession


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illinois-judge-charged-heroin-gun-possession-172508510.htmlYahoo News:

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A southwestern Illinois judge already under scrutiny after a colleague died of a cocaine overdose at his family's hunting lodge was charged Friday with possession of heroin and guns.

Wearing cutoff shorts and a T-shirt with the slogan "Bad is my middle name," St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook pleaded not guilty to federal counts of possessing heroin and having a firearm while being an illegal user of controlled substances. The criminal complaint alleges those offenses took place Thursday, and that Cook is an addict.

Earlier Friday, the county coroner said toxicology tests showed that Cook's colleague, St. Clair County Circuit Judge Joe Christ, overdosed on cocaine while staying with Cook at the Cook family's 2,500-square-foot cabin near the Mississippi River in western Illinois.

The 49-year-old father of six was found dead in a bathroom at the lodge near Pleasant Hill, about 65 miles from St. Louis, on the evening of March 10 — little more than a week after he was sworn in as a judge.

Pike County, Ill., Coroner Paul Petty said blood screenings showed there was also alcohol in Christ's system, and that investigators seized cocaine and paraphernalia from the cabin. The two judges were the only people staying at the property at the time, said Petty, who also serves as sheriff.

Petty told The Associated Press he believes Christ died hours before Cook reported finding his body, and the coroner expects the death to be ruled accidental.

Cook, 43, has not been charged in Christ's death, but that federal investigation continues. He remains a judge, though his courthouse office has been sealed off as part of the investigation and he has been stripped of his docket of hundreds of cases.



There goes the judge, there goes the judge...

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