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TRUMBULL COUNTY Judge gives fine, probation to father in explosives case



Published: Fri, April 5, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Police said the man had worked in coal mines and had explosives stored in his garage.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- A 36-year-old Champion man, whose son brought explosives to Champion High School, has pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of failing to secure a dangerous ordnance.

Acting Judge Donald Ford Jr., who is filling in for a vacationing Judge Thomas Gysegem in municipal court, fined Timothy Cook $250 and placed him on two years' probation. While on probation, Cook is not allowed to have any weapons or explosives, the judge stated.

Cook declined to comment, but his attorney, John Shultz, said his client is pleased the matter is resolved.

"This was a serious matter, but it was unintentional on Mr. Cook's part," Shultz said. He noted that his client was cooperative with authorities and has no criminal record.

Champion police have said that Cook used to work in coal mines and had explosives stored in his garage. He told authorities, however, that he didn't know they were still there.

Son's guilty plea: Cook's son, Timothy Ben Cook, 17, pleaded guilty in February to delinquency by way of assault on a school administrator and delinquency by way of unlawful possession of a dangerous ordnance.

Timothy Ben Cook was sentenced to a year in an Ohio Department of Youth Services facility.

Champion police said the teen-ager brought explosives to school Feb. 14. Officials said the youth told them he planned to set off the explosives after school. Police said a struggle took place between the teen and an assistant principal, who was not seriously injured.

Atty. Maridee Costanzo declined to say why her client brought the explosives to school.

Champion Police Chief Dennis Steinbeck has declined to specify what the explosives were, but said they are equivalent to two sticks of dynamite.

In January, police said, Timothy Ben Cook and a 16-year-old friend took an explosive material from his father's garage. The mother of Timothy Ben Cook's friend found the material in the trunk of her car and called police.

sinkovich@vindy.com




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