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BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A convicted killer will make his case for a new trial he says he deserves because the presiding judge faces federal heroin charges and may have been impaired during the trial.
Jurors found 55-year-old Gregory Muse guilty in March of first-degree murder, after a trial overseen by then-St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook.
Cook was arrested two months later on charges of possessing heroin and a having a gun while on controlled substances. He has resigned and pleaded not guilty.
Muse faces sentencing Wednesday. But he's asked for a new trial, alleging Cook appeared to slur his words during the trial.
Cook's attorney isn't discussing that.
Questions about Cook already have prompted another judge to grant a new murder trial for another man convicted during proceedings overseen by Cook.
A 20-year-old woman remains in critical condition after she was shot in the chest sitting outside a north St. Louis home early this morning.
The woman was sitting with two friends at a house near Fountain Park around 2:30 this morning, when an unknown suspect started shooting. The woman was hit, one of her friends pulled out a gun and shot back.
Police say it does not appear that the victim was the gunman's intended target. Homicide detectives have taken over the investigation.
The Missouri Supreme Court issued a decision yesterday denying the long-term, same-sex partner of a Missouri Highway patrolman survivor pension benefits.
Cpl. Dennis Engelhard died on Christmas Day in 2009 when he was struck by a vehicle while investigating a traffic accident on Interstate 44 in Eureka.
Missouri offers a payment to the surviving spouse of a Highway Patrol officer killed in the line of duty.
But the statute governing survivor benefits defines marriage as between a man and woman. Missouri also has a prohibition on same-sex marriage in the state Constitution.
Engelhard's partner, Kelly Glossip, did not receive the benefit and argued that the state violated the equal-protection clause of the state constitution.
The Supreme Court, in a 5-2 ruling, concluded Glossip is ineligible for survivor benefits because the two were not married — not because Glossip is gay.
The ruling states that the fact the two could not be married in Missouri is not relevant.
The Illinois State Police are assisting in an investigation after an Alton police officer shot a suspect Tuesday, critically wounding him. The Officer had been responding to a call for shots fired in the area of McClure and Harriett Street when he encountered the suspect.
Alton Police Chief Jake Simmons say an officer fired on the man when he drew a weapon after being ordered to the ground.
"The initial investigation disclosed that the gun the suspect drew was an airsoft-type handgun," he aid. "The handgun looks identical to a Glock semi-automatic handgun carried by law enforcement."
Chief Simmons says it's a tragic incident any time a law officer has to discharge a weapon. The officer involved is on routine administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.