EAST ST. LOUIS, IL (KTVI) – A former judge at the center of the center of the St. Clair County courthouse drug scandal could be sentenced Friday in federal court.
Mike Cook already pleaded guilty to drug and weapons charges but his sentencing was postponed after the judge would not accept a plea deal.
Cook is slated to appear before Judge Joe Billy McDade in federal court at 10:30 a.m. There are a couple of possibilities on what could happen, but Cook could wind up with prison time before the end of the day.
Back in November Cook pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor heroin count and a felony charge of being a drug user in possession of a firearm. Then Cook agreed to serve an 18-month prison term.
But last month, Judge McDade refused to accept the plea deal saying the sentenced did not seem sufficient for someone in Cook’s position. The case came to light after Cook’s fellow judge Joe Christ died of a cocaine overdose in March of last year while at Cook’s hunting lodge in Pike County, Illinois.
Cook was arrested last may outside the Belleville home of convicted drug dealer Sean McGilvery. He is already serving time for distributing heroin. A source close to the case says Cook could feasibly go into court Friday and withdraw his guilty plea.
But FOX 2 has learned that likely won’t happen because attorneys in the case recently submitted documents to the judge about what their intentions were for Friday’s sentencing hearing and it is still a go.
Authorities say Cook the maximum Cook could get on the weapons charge is 10 years. For the heroin charge, the maximum is one year.