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ST. LOUIS (AP) - A disgraced Illinois judge at the center of a courthouse drug scandal is getting time to square away things before serving a two-year sentence on heroin and gun convictions.
 
But exactly where Michael Cook will spend his time behind bars remains murky.
 
A filing by U.S. District Judge Joe Billy McDade shows the former St. Clair County judge must surrender by May 28 to whatever lockup the Federal Bureau of Prisons slots for him.
 
McDade also recommends that Cook be placed in a prison in Florida, Alabama or South Carolina.
 
Cook was sentenced last month.
 
He resigned last year. He was charged after the cocaine-overdose death of a fellow judge while the two were at the Cook family's hunting cabin.
Published in Local News
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A teenage serial bank robber the FBI dubbed the "I-55 Bandit" for a series of crimes in five states has been ordered to spend five years in federal prison.
 
Nineteen-year-old Andrew Maberry of O'Fallon, Ill., was sentenced Friday in St. Louis.
 
Maberry pleaded guilty in December to one of the robberies - a heist in July of last year involving a bank in Arnold, Mo., just south of St. Louis.
 
Federal prosecutors say Maberry robbed 10 banks in Missouri, Illinois, West Virginia, Tennessee and Maryland from May of last year to the end of August.
 
Some of the early robberies in Missouri and Illinois were near Interstate 55, prompting the nickname.
 
The FBI says that in each holdup, Maberry didn't show a weapon, and no one was harmed.
 
Published in Local News
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - A former southwestern Illinois judge at the center of a courthouse drug scandal that included a fellow judge's cocaine death is headed to federal prison for two years.
 
U.S. District Judge Joe Billy McDade on Friday also fined former St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook more than $75,000 on heroin and gun charges. Federal prosecutors had requested an 18-month sentence. Cook's attorney suggested a 6-month term was appropriate.
 
McDade last month rejected a deal between the two sides, calling an agreed-upon prison term of 18 months insufficient.
 
On Friday, the 43-year-old Cook entered an open plea, meaning the judge would decide his sentence.
 
McDade calls the two-year sentence appropriate given the negative affect on the public's confidence in the judiciary.
Published in Local News
CHICAGO (AP) - An Illinois Supreme Court ruling may mean more than 100 inmates serving life sentences without parole may be released early from prison.
 
The Thursday ruling applies to inmates who have imprisoned for murders they committed when they were juveniles. It makes the state supreme court the latest court to rule regarding a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. That ruling determined that sentencing juveniles to life without parole constituted cruel and unusual punishment.
Since then, state courts have been deciding whether the ruling should be retroactive to apply to inmates in prison for crimes they committed as juveniles.
 
Thursday’s ruling to grant new sentencing hearings for the inmates stems from a case involving a lawsuit filed by an inmate convicted of murder when he was a juvenile.
 
Published in Local News

The drug dealer at the center of the St. Clair County court scandal, is headed to prison.

 

Sean McGilvery was sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday. McGilvery pleaded guilty to selling heroin last year and said that then-judge Michael Cook was a regular customer. Court documents say that Cook stopped by McGilvery's house almost every day to pick up heroin. Cook admitted to drug charges and will be sentenced next month.

 

Another Judge, Joe Christ, died of a cocaine overdose at a cabin owned by Cook in March. 

Published in Local News

SAN QUENTIN, Calif. (AP) — An innovative training program that prepares prison inmates for jobs in the tech sector has expanded.

The rigorous, six-month course was launched at San Quentin State Prison north of San Francisco by a pair of successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.

The program is "bootstrapping," as its organizers say, with just 12 graduates in its first two years, but a new session began this month at the Los Angeles Twin Towers Correctional Facility.

The program uses local experts as volunteer instructors, teaching carefully selected prisoners to design and launch technology firms.

The five graduates released so far have landed real jobs at real dot-coms.

Published in National News

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois woman faces up to 60 years in prison after being convicted of playing a role in the 2011 carjacking and slaying of a bingo-playing grandmother.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports a St. Clair County Circuit judge found 39-year-old Belleville resident LaTosha Cunningham guilty of murder.

A co-defendant, 21-year-old DaQuan Barnes, has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder related to the death of 85-year-old Yoko Cullen. He awaits sentencing Oct. 30.

Authorities allege that Barnes, Cunningham and another man staked out waited for Cullen outside a Collinsville bingo hall where one of them knew she played, then stopped her from driving away.

Authorities say Cullen was forced into her trunk and driven to East St. Louis, where her car was set on fire while she was inside.

 
Published in Local News
Thursday, 26 September 2013 13:12

Former Boy Scout volunteer gets more prison time

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A former southwestern Illinois Boy Scout volunteer already imprisoned for molesting boys has been sentenced to 25 more years for sexual misconduct.

Fifty-six-year-old Jon Demers was sentenced to the new prison time this week after pleading guilty to three felony charges, including predatory criminal sexual assault of a child.

St. Clair State's Attorney Brendan Kelly said the latest case involved a 12-year-old boy and a 9-year-old boy in 2009.

Monday's sentence will run simultaneously to a six-year term the former Collinsville man got after being convicted in March of 12 sex-abuse counts involving a boy.

Demers was a Belleville Boy Scout troop committee member and merit badge counselor, but his status with that organization has been revoked. He also was a civilian employee of Scott Air Force Base.

 

Published in Local News

WASHINGTON (AP) - The wife of former Illinois congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. has been sentenced to one year in prison for filing false joint federal income tax returns that understated the income the couple received.

Sandra Jackson admitted in a guilty plea earlier this year that from mid-2006 through mid-October of last year, she failed to report $600,000 in income that she and her husband earned from 2005 to 2011.

Mrs. Jackson was a Chicago alderman before she resigned during a federal investigation of the couple.

She was sentenced Wednesday along with her husband. Jesse Jackson Jr. was sentenced to two and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to engaging in a scheme to spend $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items.

Published in National News

Prison is the next stop for 26-year-old Carl Matthews.

He was sentenced to 10 years behind bars for sex trafficking. Prosecutors say Matthews conspired with co-defendant Carla Matthews to force to women to engage in prostitution at a local hotel. Carl also forced the woman to apply for federal aid and food stamps to help support the operation.

Carla Matthews will go to trial at a later date.

 

Published in Local News
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