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CHAMPION Student enters plea of guilt



Published: Wed, February 20, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The defense attorney said her client could face up to a year in the state Department of Youth Services.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- The 17-year-old boy who took explosives to Champion High School last week has pleaded guilty to two felony charges.

Timothy B. Cook of State Road, Champion, pleaded guilty to delinquency by way of assault on a school administrator and delinquency by way of unlawful possession of a dangerous ordnance.

The pleas were made Tuesday in the courtroom of Trumbull County Juvenile Magistrate Monte Horton. The hearing was closed to the public; however, Cook's attorney, Maridee Costanzo, talked to reporters after the hearing.

"We made the plea, and in exchange the prosecution agreed to dismiss two other counts of unlawful possession of a dangerous ordnance," Costanzo said.

Costanzo said her client will be sentenced in about a month and will remain at the county juvenile detention center until then. He could receive up to a year in the state Department of Youth Services, Costanzo said.

What happened: Champion police said Cook brought explosives to school Thursday. Officials said Cook told them he planned to set off the explosives after school. Police said a struggle took place between Cook and an assistant principal, who was not seriously injured.

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

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

Father's call: Police received a call Thursday morning from Cook's father, who said a gun was missing from the home and that he was worried his son may have taken it to school.

School officials said they confronted the teen about the gun and found the explosives in his coat.

Last month, police said, Cook and a 16-year-old friend took an explosive material from Cook's garage. The mother of Cook's friend found the material in the trunk of her car and called police.

Police said the two teen-agers told them at the time that they were going to blow up a tree stump but realized the explosive might have been too dangerous, so they put it in the trunk of the car.

Steinbeck said Cook's father used to work in coal mines and had explosives stored in his garage but that he didn't know they were still there.

Police said they are still investigating the matter and declined to say if any other charges will be filed.

sinkovich@vindy.com




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