A former judge charged after the body of a colleague was found at a Pike County, Illinois hunting lodge is expected to plead guilty.


Forty-three-year-old Michael Cook of Belleville is scheduled to go before a federal judge Friday. He’s accused of possessing a weapon while using drugs and possession of heroin.

Forty-nine-year-old Judge Joe Christ died of cocaine intoxication last March at a hunting cabin owned by Cook’s parents near Pleasant Hill Illinois.

Cook found the body and called authorities. Investigators said he was the only person in the cabin when Christ died. Cook resigned in May.

Another person charged in the case pleaded guilty to drug and weapons charges Wednesday and was sentenced to five years in prison.

A federal judge said the sentence will be increased if it’s proven that the man sold the drugs that killed Christ.