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Former Mars student gets probation for bringing knife to school

A former Mars Area High School student was sentenced to probation Tuesday for bringing a knife to school in February.

Joseph Robert Cote-Rocco, 19, of Mars, was sentenced to serve 36 months of probation and complete 25 hours of community service after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of possession of a weapon on school property. Probation will end in 24 months if he doesn’t commit violations.

The sentence is part of a plea agreement reached by the district attorney and public defender’s offices in Common Pleas Court.

Adams Township police filed charges against Cote-Rocco following the Feb. 1 incident.

Police responded around 9:45 a.m. that day after the school administration received a complaint about a student bragging about having a knife and talking about burning the building down, according to police.

The student, identified as Cote-Rocco, was cooperative with police and was escorted from the class he was in at the time, police said.

He admitted to police that he had a knife, and officers found a knife with a five-inch blade in the pocket of his sweatshirt, police said. He told school officials he brought the knife to school to show a friend, according to police.

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