80
      Sunday
      86 / 67
      Monday
      89 / 71
      Tuesday
      91 / 70

      Judge dies of cocaine overdose in local cabin

      UPDATED: Tuesday, June 11, 2013

      The Pike County Sheriff's Office released excerpts from the March 10th 911 call Tuesday.

      Joseph Christ, 49, of O'Fallon, Illinois was found unconscious on the bathroom floor of the cabin outside of Pleasant Hill. Judge Michael Cook discovered Christ and made the call.

      Cook told the 911 operator that he and his friend went to a hunting banquet the night before. "And a friend of mine here, it looks like he hit his head in the bathroom here and I can't get him to get up," he said.

      Cook said he couldn't tell if Christ was breathing. "It looks like maybe, but I can't get his mouth open."

      The dispatcher told him to get close to him and see if he was still breathing. He said it didn't look like he was. "His body doesn't feel ice cold, though," he said.

      First responders arrived and later pronounced Christ dead.

      Listen to the 911 call exerpts above or click here to listen from the KHQA YouTube page.

      -------------

      UPDATED: Wednesday, May 29, 2013

      A southwestern Illinois probation worker has been charged with providing cocaine to two judges - including one who died of an overdose near Pleasant Hill, in Pike County.

      Forty-five-year-old James Fogarty of Belleville has pleaded not guilty to federal drug charges. Those counts include cocaine distribution and cocaine possession.

      Authorities accuse Fogarty of peddling cocaine to St. Clair County judges Michael Cook and Joe Christ.

      Joseph Christ, 49, of O'Fallon, Illinois was found unconscious on the bathroom floor of a Cook cabin outside of Pleasant Hill on March 10. Another man at the property at the time, Judge Michael Cook, discovered Christ and called 911. First responders responded and later pronounced Christ dead.

      The cabin was owned by Cook's family.

      An autopsy indicates his cause of death was cocaine intoxication. Toxicology reports show Christ had both alcohol and cocaine in his system. Cocaine and drug paraphernalia were also confiscated at the scene.

      Friday St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook pleaded not guilty to possessing heroin and having a gun while illegally using controlled substances.

      A former prosecutor, Christ was a St. Clair County judge a little more than a week before being found dead March 10 in the Cook family's Pike County hunting lodge.

      -------------

      ORIGINAL STORY: Friday, May 24, 2013

      Federal investigators are looking into the death of a St. Clair County judge.

      According to a press release from the Pike County Sheriff's department, Joseph Christ, 49, of O'Fallon, Illinois was found unconscious on the bathroom floor of a cabin outside of Pleasant Hill on March 10. Another man at the property at the time, Judge Michael Cook, discovered Christ and called 911. First responders responded and later pronounced Christ dead.

      The cabin was owned by Cook's family.

      An autopsy indicates his cause of death was cocaine intoxication. Toxicology reports show Christ had both alcohol and cocaine in his system. Cocaine and drug paraphernalia were also confiscated at the scene.

      In a release, Pike County Sheriff Paul Petty says the investigation now goes to the prosecutor to decide if criminal charges will be filed in Christ's death.