• Drug trial set for former southwestern Ill. judge

    by  • September 23, 2013 • News

    EAST ST. LOUIS (AP) — A southwestern Illinois judge accused of federal heroin and weapons charges is scheduled to go on

    Michael Cook

    Michael Cook

    trial by the end of this year.

    Authorities announced Monday during a pretrial hearing for former St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook that his trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 9.

    Cook has pleaded not guilty to possessing heroin and having a gun while illegally using controlled substances.

    Authorities say Cook was with former St. Clair County prosecutor and newly appointed judge Joe Christ (krihst) in March when Christ died of a cocaine overdose at the Cook family’s western Illinois hunting cabin. Cook is not accused in Christ’s death.

    Since being charged in May, Cook resigned his judgeship and agreed to attend drug rehab in Minnesota.

    He is free on bond.