New details revealed in St. Clair Co. judge’s drug scandal

EAST ST. LOUIS, IL (KTVI) – There are new details about what investigators found at the hunting cabin where former St. Clair County associate judge Joe Christ died of a cocaine overdose.

The Pike County, IL cabin belonged to former judge Michael Cook who was with Christ and found his body.   Former judge Cook was supposed to be sentenced in federal court on Friday after pleading guilty in November to heroin and gun charges.

But the judge in the case postponed the sentencing while he considers possible stiffer sentence for Cook than the 18 months that Cook has agreed to serve.

The Belleville News-Democrat is reporting that after Cook’s arrest in May, federal agents seized nearly 50 items of potential evidence from the cabin.  The details are in a newly opened search warrant.

The items include a torn dollar bill with a small amount of white powder residue on it, a jewelry box with white residue, and a glass plate with a razor, straw and white residue.

Authorities also seized a plastic bag with a plastic syringe containing sodium chloride, something called a “salt shot” meant to combat a heroin overdose.

The News-Democrat also reports that a red vial with a white powder fell onto the autopsy table as Christ’s body was being undressed.  The vial had both Cook’s and Christ’s DNA on it.

Cook’s new sentencing date is February 26, 2014.

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