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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Authorities in southwestern Illinois' Madison County are investigating the deaths of three people who died from suspected heroin overdoses after all three bodies were found within a span of five hours.
Coroner Stephen Nonn says the body of 29-year-old Katie Heavey of Collinsville was found Thursday night by her father.
Nonn says 38-year-old Dearold Oseland was found dead early Friday in his Roxana apartment by his girlfriend. That was about 90 minutes before 40-year-old Paul Simpson's body was found in his Granite City home.
Nonn says autopsies in each case were inconclusive, and toxicology tests are pending.
The coroner says evidence of drug use was found at each scene.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Metro-east police say the death of a Worchester, NY woman inside a gas station restroom was probably drug related.
Madison County Sheriff Robert Hertz says 25 year old Angela Lamar, a Belleville native, had been traveling through Illinois with her boyfriend, a truck driver, when the couple stopped at a gas station along I-70 just outside of Highland.
Lamar was unresponsive when she was found inside the station restroom around 1:00 a.m. Sunday. She was pronounced dead at St. Joseph's Hospital in Highland.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that investigators seized a syringe and heroin-filled capsules during their investigation. Sheriff Hertz says investigators suspect a drug overdose, but toxicology tests are still pending.
The heroin dealer at the center of the St. Clair County courthouse scandal, pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday morning.
Sean McGilvery admitted to selling heroin, he now faces a decade in prison when he is sentenced in January. McGilvery is at the center of the case of Judge Mike Cook. Cook was arrested at McGilvery`s Belleville home back in May. McGilvery says the judge was at his house almost every day picking up heroin.
Cook's trial on heroin and weapons charges starts in December.
PACIFIC, Mo. (AP) - A St. Louis area man faces a murder charge after he allegedly provided heroin to a woman who later died of an overdose.
Franklin County authorities say 27-year-old Christopher Albrecht was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder and heroin distribution. He is being held on $100,000 bail.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Albrecht allegedly supplied heroin to 32-year-old Danielle Jeanine Barlow and her boyfriend in April. The boyfriend overdosed first but Barlow and her 11-year-old son were able to revive him.
Police say after he woke up, Barlow took another dose and was found dead the next morning.
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois judge whose colleague died of a cocaine overdose while the two were on a hunting trip is stepping down from the bench as he defends himself against federal heroin and gun charges.
St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook resigned Wednesday through his attorney by letter to the chief judge, John Baricevic. Baricevic says the letter is brief and doesn't offer a reason for Cook's departure.
Cook was charged last Friday with possessing heroin and having a gun while illegally using controlled substances. He's pleaded not guilty.
The Illinois Supreme Court now must pick Cook's replacement.
A fellow judge, Joe Christ, died of a cocaine overdose in March while with Cook at the Cook family's hunting cabin in western Illinois' Pike County. That probe continues.
An Imperial, Missouri woman could spend a year in prison for beating her son's alleged heroin dealer with a baseball bat.
It took a Jefferson County jury about two hours Tuesday night to find 54 year old Sherrie Gavan guilty of third-degree misdemeanor assault.
Gavan admits that in December 2011, she hit Josh Loyd with a bat after seeking him out to tell him to stay away from her son, Clayton. Her attorney had argued "self-defense," saying Gavan had believed the teen was going to hit her with a brick.
Gavan says she just did what any parent would have done, especially a parent who knows what heroin does to their child. "It's like my husband said, there’s two ways out: you stop or you die," she said. "And I did not want to bury my son. I could not bury my son."
Gavin says even though she could go to prison, she'd do it again, because her son is alive, graduating high school with straight "A's" and getting ready for college.
The (Alton) Telegraph reports that Kenneth Harris Jr.'s body was found Tuesday in a car parked in a bay of a car wash in Wood River.
Deputy Police Chief Mickey Sabolo says the investigation points to a heroin overdose as the cause of the man's death, and no foul play is suspected. Authorities say drug paraphernalia was found next to the victim, who Sabolo says appeared to have died alone.
An autopsy was conducted Tuesday, but results weren't released. Authorities are awaiting results of toxicology tests.
A bill sponsored by Republican state Representative Bryan Spencer, would grant immunity from minor drug possession charges to overdose victims and people who get medical help for them. Ten other states, including Illinois, have already enacted the so-called "good Samaritan" laws. Spencer's bill is based on the Illinois model.
St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he supports the measure, saying that saving lives is more important than pursuing minor drug charges. But St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch expressed doubts that the law would make much difference, telling the paper that people who abuse alcohol or heroin "aren’t the most responsible" people.
Advocates say the state can't afford to ignore the problem. They cite research by the Missouri Recovery Network and Roosevelt University, which suggests that heroin and opiate abuse poses a particularly deadly and growing threat in Missouri, especially the St. Louis area.