Hearing waived on jail guard assault charge

LISBON – The man accused of assaulting a corrections officer at the Columbiana County Jail last week, Alex D.M. Cook, 19, Crestview Road, New Waterford, agreed to waive his right to a preliminary hearing in Columbiana County Municipal Court on Monday.

He will be bound over on a fifth-degree felony charge of assault to county Common Pleas Court where he already faces additional charges on unrelated matters.

Court documents state the corrections officer, Anthony Travers, lost consciousness when he was choked by Cook late on March 16, shortly before midnight. Travers had opened Cook’s cell, reportedly to give him a roll of toilet paper.

On Monday, Judge Mark Frost amended bond from $100,000 cash or surety to $100,000 personal recognizance, although Assistant Prosecutor Virginia Barborak had allowed it could be lowered to $25,000 recognizance. Frost agreed to the recognizance but kept it at $100,000, saying it will extend the time prosecutors have to bring the case to trial.

Despite the change in bond, Cook remains in jail on a 90-day sentence imposed by Judge Carol Robb last week on an unrelated underage consumption charge.

Additionally, Cook was indicted by the county grand jury in February on several charges. Cook is charged with theft, misuse of credit cards, receiving stolen property and five counts each of burglary and safecracking.

According to court documents, those charges are due to Cook allegedly taking a Discover card belonging to Dale Hill on Sept. 23 and using it in one or more transactions. Additionally in June through July last year, Cook allegedly broke into Hill’s home on Millrock Road, New Waterford, on five separate occasions, and forced his way into a vault, safe or strong box on the property during those times. Finally, Cook is accused of having possession of a stolen pickup belonging to Bobby Blair on Feb. 5.

He was arraigned last Thursday in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court on those charges and Judge Scott Washam had left the bond at $100,000 cash or surety at that time, as it had been set in the misdemeanor cases.