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Man tested for mental health court

YOUNGSTOWN — Craig Cook, 53, of Spring Street in Struthers will be evaluated to determine whether he is eligible to participate in the Mahoning County Common Pleas Court’s mental health court.

Cook is charged with attempted aggravated arson, inducing panic and obtructing official business after being accused of trying to smoke in his house in July while knowing there was a large amount of natural gas present.

When officers confronted Cook in his bedroom, he demanded that officers allow him to smoke. In a struggle, Cook lunged for a cigarette and lighter, reports state, and Cook was pulled out of the house.

Mental health professionals evaluated Cook after he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. A judgment entry says prosecutors and defense counsel agree he was sane at the time of the incident.

His wife, Miriam Cook, 55, pleaded guilty earlier to inducing panic in the same incident and was accepted into the common pleas court’s mental health court.

Mental health court allows individuals charged with a crime that stems from mental-health issues to have their charges dismissed if they successfully complete the program.

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