Coroner: Illinois Judge Died of Cocaine Overdose

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A coroner says a former prosecutor who died at the cabin of a fellow southwestern Illinois judge now under federal investigation succumbed to a cocaine overdose.

Pike County, Ill., coroner and sheriff Paul Petty says toxicology tests showed that 49-year-old Joe Christ died of cocaine intoxication in St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook's cabin in March.

Petty says Cook was the only one with Christ and that time, and that Cook found the body.

Christ died a little more than a week after being sworn in as a St. Clair County judge.

That county's prosecutor and chief judge say Cook is under federal investigation, but have provided few details.

Cook this week was booted from his docket of hundreds of cases.

He has not returned telephone calls seeking comment.


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