Murder plot conspirator released from jail

BILOXI, Miss. — A former police officer and strip-club owner is out of prison after serving time for participating in a 1987 murder plot against a Mississippi Gulf Coast judge and his wife, and more time for violating terms of his release in 2008.

Glenn Joseph Cook Sr., 71, was due for release Friday from the medium-security prison in Beaumont, Texas, with orders to spend six months in a New Orleans halfway house.

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons website showed him as “in transit” Saturday. The phone at the Beaumont prison was not answered Saturday and an assistant warden did not respond to an email asking whether Cook was escorted to New Orleans or trusted to report on his own.

Cook was among six people convicted of arranging the 1987 slayings of Vincent and Margaret Sherry for Dixie Mafia leader Kirksey McCord Nix, who was then serving time in the State Penitentiary at Angola.

Pete Halat, who was released to a halfway house in March, had persuaded Nix that Sherry was skimming profits from a multimillion-dollar scam that Nix was running out of the prison, according to another inmate’s testimony.

Cook admitted hiring a hit man to kill the Sherrys and pleaded guilty in 1998 to intimidating a federal witness. Other charges were dropped.

He served nine years in prison at the same time as the sentence for an unrelated drug conviction. He got another five years for violating terms of his supervised release in 2008.

A judge had ordered him to stay out of south Mississippi because he had sent threatening letters to members of his own family and to a former employer who arranged the killings and later turned prosecution witness.

Two days after his release, Cook was returned to prison after showing up at a relative’s home, claiming the house was his and ordering the relative out.