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   A former metro-east judge facing federal heroine and weapons charges is set to go to trial by the end of this year, but that could change.  

   A December 9 trial date was set for former St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook at a pretrial hearing Monday. Cook has pleaded not guilty, but at the hearing, his attorney said he may change his plea.  

   Since being charged in May, Cook resigned his judgeship and was released on bond to attend drug rehab in Minnesota.  

   St. Clair County Judge Joe Christ died of a cocaine overdose in March at Cook's hunting cabin, though Cook is not charged in Christ's death. 

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