June 6, 2012
LIMA — Travis Cook looked up at the ceiling of the courtroom and behind him, sometimes laughing Wednesday, which was enough to anger a judge.“This is not a joke. This is serious business, young man,” Judge Richard Warren told the 17-year-old boy who was sentenced as an adult.Warren gave Cook four years in prison to see whether he will still think it's funny while sitting behind bars with grown men. Cook pleaded no contest to robbery after prosecutors sought to try him as an adult after numerous charges in the juvenile justice system failed.Cook had nothing to say for his actions. He participated in a trio that held a gun on a man and robbed him in October in the 200 block of West Northern Avenue. The three approached the man in a parking lot to rob him.Assistant Allen County Prosecutor Terri Kohlrieser said Cook has been sentenced to the local treatment court, another long-term treatment center and prison for children, none of which turned him around.“I just want to make that very clear that it wasn't like he was tossed to the wayside and not given any kind of opportunities,” Kohlrieser said.Warren said Cook never met his father who is in prison. He was abused by his stepfather and was thrown out of school for disruptive behavior. He began smoking marijuana and using alcohol at age 13.“This case is a recipe for disaster,” Warren said.While the judge blasted Cook at times, he also urged him to straighten up.“You're a young man. It's going to be up to you what you want to do with your life. You better be changing your ways,” he said.