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Court official reexamining former judge's cases

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A former St. Clair County circuit judge charged with heroin possession and a weapons violation presided over more than 1,700 felony cases.

The Belleville New-Democrat reports that Michael Cook's tenure included eight bench trials and 24 jury trials. Cook resigned after he was charged in May.

Officials are re-examining the cases Cook handled. A judge granted a new trial to one convicted murderer whose case he oversaw, and another has demanded a retrial. Hearings are scheduled for both next week.

Of the 1,705 felony cases Cook handled, 1,102 resulted in guilty pleas. Three of the bench trials ended in guilty verdicts. Twenty of the jury trials ended in guilty verdicts.

Cook has pleaded not guilty. He has agreed to have his law license suspended and sought drug treatment.

 

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