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Judge won't modify former PBSO deputy's house arrest

Posted at 11:51 AM, Nov 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-03 13:04:36-04

A former Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy, seeking changes to his house arrest, had that request denied by a judge Friday.

Jason Cooke asked a judge if he could leave his house to seek new employment. 

Cooke's attorney, Stuart Kaplan said Cooke's son is in need of medical treatment that is unattainable without insurance.

"Health insurance is obviously the only way he can afford to defer those expenses," Kaplan said. "We felt it was necessary for him to have an opportunity to seek employment.”

Cooke resigned from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office after he was charged with grand theft and burglary.

Deputies said Cooke was caught stealing pain meds from a dead man’s home. Family of the deceased man requested deputies to conduct a welfare check on their loved one.

 

The man weathered Hurricane Irma alone at his Boynton Beach home.

An investigation found Cooke was never assigned to that call but was seen on surveillance cameras entering through the garage and then emptying a bottle of pain pills he found in the kitchen.

In court Kaplan admitted to Cooke's addiction to pain medication. Kaplan said it developed after he was prescribed with Vicodin in 2013 for chronic back pain. 

"Law enforcement is just not immune to these type of unfortunate situations," Kaplan said. "I just feel that a courtroom type of setting, with respect to dealing with these type of tragic events, is not necessarily the proper form."

Kaplan says they will not fight the judge's decision. Cooke entered a not guilty plea and is scheduled for a case disposition Nov. 29.