Yesterday, the Belleville News-Democrat posted the audio of the 911 call former Illinois judge Michael Cook made just after discovering his friend, fellow Judge Joe Christ, unresponsive on the floor. It's pretty sad -- from his conversation with the dispatcher, it seems as though Cook initially thinks Christ might be OK, then slowly realizes the situation is dire.
"His hands are cold, his stomach is not ice cold," Cook said at one point to the 911 operator. "Do you think he's going to be OK?"
Christ died that day of what was later determined to be a cocaine overdose.
Christ's death triggered a chain reaction of arrests and charges against Cook, a St. Clair County probation officer accused of selling the judges the cocaine found in Christ's system, and a suspected heroin dealer. Read more about that here. But before any of that could happen, it was just Cook and Christ on the bathroom floor of Cook's hunting cabin.
Cook made the call on March 10, at 6:18 p.m., the day after both judges were out late at an event together. According to the conversation with the operator, Cook found Christ in the bathroom, his pants around his ankles, lying on his side. Cook said it looked like Christ stumbled in the living room before making it to the bathroom, as he saw broken glass there. The operator asked Cook numerous times to roll Christ onto his back for CPR, but Christ was wedged in the bathroom and too heavy ("close to 300 pounds" according to Cook) to move.
"Joe. C'mon, get up, Joe," Cook pleaded with Christ at one point. "Wake up. Please get on your back, Joe."
Here is another part of the conversation from the call, in a moment where Cook seems to realize that Christ may die:
Cook: Are people coming now?
Operator: Yes, we got 'em on their way, but I need you to work with me until they get there, OK? Are you able to get you hand in his mouth at all to see if there's anything blocking his airway or anything in his throat?
Cook: His teeth are closed.
Operator: His teeth are closed?
Cook: Yeah. Is that bad? [inaudible] I love him like a brother.
Operator: OK. It's alright. Can you see into his mouth at all, even with his teeth closed?
Cook: No, there's a little blood coming out from his nose though.
Operator: Help's already on the way, OK?
Cook: Thank you.
Emergency workers did reach the men after the roughly fourteen-minute 911 call, but Christ died. The BND posted the entire recording here.
Two months after Christ's death, authorities arrested Cook coming out of the home of an alleged heroin dealer and former client. Cook was charged with possession of heroin and a firearm while under the influence. He, the purported dealer and the probation officer who allegedly provided Christ the cocaine that killed him, have all pleaded not guilty.
Cook resigned from office last week. More updates as they come in.
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