St. Clair County courthouse drug scandal prompts new murder trial

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by KMOV / AP

KMOV.com

Posted on October 2, 2013 at 6:56 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 3 at 10:36 AM

 (KMOV) -- A St. Clair County judge has ordered a new murder trial for a man, ruling his trial attorneys should have been told the presiding judge and the key investigator were being investigated over drugs.

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert Haida on Wednesday granted 29-year-old William Cosby’s request for a new trial.

Jurors convicted Cosby in April of first-degree murder in last year’s shooting death of 31-year-old Antwan Thomas in East St. Louis.

Cosby’s conviction came three weeks the presiding judge, Michael Cook, was charged with possessing heroin and having a gun while illegally using controlled substances.

The key investigator in the Cosby case, then East St. Louis police Detective Orlando Ward, was accused in May of cocaine-related charges. He has resigned.

Cook and Ward have pleaded not guilty.

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