Ann Maher Oct. 31, 2013, 7:24pm

Former St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook who was set to go to trial Dec. 9 on drug and weapons charges will plead guilty on Nov. 8.

Cook was charged in May with heroin possession and being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of firearms.  He entered a not guilty plea to both charges. He stepped down from the bench shortly after charges were filed and entered into a drug treatment facility in Minnesota.

Federal prosecutors had been investigating Cook for months before he reported the death of his friend and colleague on the bench, associate Judge Joe Christ, on March 10 at a family owned hunting lodge in Pike County. Christ died of cocaine toxicity.

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