BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A convicted killer will make his case for a new trial he says he deserves because the presiding judge faces federal heroin charges and may have been impaired during the trial.
Jurors found 55-year-old Gregory Muse guilty in March of first-degree murder, after a trial overseen by then-St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook.
Cook was arrested two months later on charges of possessing heroin and a having a gun while on controlled substances. He has resigned and pleaded not guilty.
Muse faces sentencing Wednesday. But he's asked for a new trial, alleging Cook appeared to slur his words during the trial.
Cook's attorney isn't discussing that.
Questions about Cook already have prompted another judge to grant a new murder trial for another man convicted during proceedings overseen by Cook.
The heroin dealer at the center of the St. Clair County courthouse scandal, pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday morning.
Sean McGilvery admitted to selling heroin, he now faces a decade in prison when he is sentenced in January. McGilvery is at the center of the case of Judge Mike Cook. Cook was arrested at McGilvery`s Belleville home back in May. McGilvery says the judge was at his house almost every day picking up heroin.
Cook's trial on heroin and weapons charges starts in December.