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Convicted murderer gets new trial because of judge’s drug scandal

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BELLEVILLE, IL (KTVI) -  A convicted murderer in St. Clair County is getting a new trial because the judge presiding over his case is now facing federal criminal charges himself.

It's the latest fallout from the St. Clair County Courthouse scandal involving former judge Michael Cook.

William Cosby is a convicted murderer, but on Tuesday, St. Clair County Circuit judge Robert Haida ordered a new trial for Cosby after his attorney argued that they should have known the judge in his case, Michael Cook, and a detective, Orlando Ward, were both under investigation at the time of the trial.

Both are now facing federal charges.  Cosby is accused of shooting and killing Antwan Thomas outside of an East St. Louis bar in 2012.  Cosby was convicted in April. Former judge Cook was arrested almost a month later outside the home of a Belleville man charged with heroin possession.

Cook himself is now facing heroin and weapons charges. Associate Judge Joe Christ died of a cocaine overdose while with Cook at his hunting cabin in Pike County back in March.

We're told another convicted murderer whose case was heard by Cook is also requesting a new trial because of what happened to Cook.

Cook has resigned from the bench and his law license has been suspended.  Cook is due back in court later this year.

More Stories: The St. Clair County Judge Drug Scandal


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