Earlier this month, attorneys at Edon Northwest Local Schools revised opening and closing statements and witnesses reviewed statements as final case preparations were made for their team’s entry into the 30th Annual Ohio Mock Trial Competition.
Edon High School students took part in Ohio Mock Trial District Competition held Friday, February 1, 2013 in Toledo Municipal Court. This is the school’s twenty-third year of participation in the program sponsored by OhioCenter for Law-Related Education. Each year the Center writes an original, Constitution-based case meant to inform students of their rights as citizens as well as help them develop critical thinking, reading, writing, public speaking and listening skills.
In this year’s case, a fifteen-year old high school sophomore is suspected of setting a fire at the school that resulted in the death of a maintenance worker. Police engaged in a lengthy interrogation process that involved driving to the scene of the crime and the victim’s home as well as various interrogation techniques. Late in the day, the defendant made a statement claiming responsibility for the fire and was subsequently charged with Murder and Arson. The confession; however, was later recanted by the defendant, alleging the statements were improperly coerced by the police in violation of the Fifth and 14th Amendments; a motion to suppress was filed.
To maximize student learning in the competition, a team consisting of five to eleven students prepared both prosecution and defense cases and competed in two trials against different teams. District winners throughout the state advanced to regional competition on Friday, February 22; state finals are set for March 7-9 in Columbus with the final championship round taking place at the Ohio Statehouse. The state winner moves on to national competition in Indianapolis May 9-11.
Comprising EdonHigh School’s 2013 Mock Trial Teams were:
Trials ~ Team Alpha Defense vs. Central Catholic HS; Team Alpha Prosecution vs. St. Francis de Sales HS
- Chelsey Handy ~ Prosecuting Attorney
- Desiree Howard ~ Prosecuting Attorney
- Chandler Siebenaler ~ Quinn Patel, Witness for the Prosecution
- Andrea Headley ~ Detective Sam O’Leary, Witness for the Prosecution
- Sydney Stoll ~ Counselor Casey Highlander, Witness for the Prosecution
- Sabrina Brown ~ Defense Attorney
- Becky Fisk ~ Defense Attorney
- Dakota Parrish ~ Dakota Allen, Witness for the Defense
- Ciera Mocherman ~ Detective Alex Jones, Witness for the Defense
- Meredith LaDuke ~ Kris Martinez, Witness for the Defense
Trials ~ Team Beta Defense vs. St. Francis de Sales HS; Team Alpha Prosecution vs. St. John’s HS
- Reid Bowling ~ Prosecuting Attorney
- Kyle Gearhart ~ Prosecuting Attorney
- David Headley ~ Quinn Patel, Witness for the Prosecution
- Sabrina White ~ Detective Sam O’Leary, Witness for the Prosecution
- Kaylyn Brigle ~ Counselor Casey Highlander, Witness for the Prosecution
- Mihkaya Best ~ Defense Attorney
- Abby Hill ~ Defense Attorney
- Justin Kirkpatrick ~ Dakota Allen, Witness for the Defense
- Clay Parrish ~ Detective Alex Jones, Witness for the Defense
- Kennedy Brigle ~ Kris Martinez, Witness for the Defense
Mike Spangler, an attorney with Newcomer, Schaffer, Spangler and Breininger, served as legal advisor to the Mock Trial teams; Mark Blue, American History/Government teacher was their advisor.
The OhioCenter for Law-Related Education designs programs to assist teachers in teaching students about government, citizenship and the law. The Center is sponsored by the Supreme Court of Ohio, the Ohio State Bar Association, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. In addition, the Ohio Mock Trial Competition was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Ohio State Bar Foundation.