Following the story line of the classic “Three Little Pigs,” students at Carson Montessori School tried Alexander T. Wolf on the charges of trespassing, destruction of property and scaring other creatures.
“It was fun and interesting,” said fourth-grader Brandon Mendoza, 10, who served as jury foreman. “We learned how the criminal justice system works.”
While Alexander T. Wolf claimed he was only looking for some sugar to bake his grandmother’s vegetarian birthday cake, the prosecutors disagreed.
“The pigs did not believe Mr. Wolf because he showed his big, long teeth,” a student read from the script. “Even though he pretended to be nice, the pigs could tell Mr. Wolf wanted to eat them.”
Mr. Wolf, played by Assistant District Attorney Mark Krueger, rebutted that argument during his testimony.
“I was just smiling,” he protested. “The pigs make me happy.”
Perhaps the most damning testimony came from the wolf’s grandmother.
“Yes, it was my birthday,” she confirmed. “I love pig cakes. Umm ... I mean birthday cakes ... with sugar.”
In the fourth-grade trial Monday, the jurors found the defendant guilty of trespassing and scaring other creatures but acquitted Mr. Wolf of destruction of property. The combined fifth- and sixth-graders found Mr. Wolf guilty of trespass and not guilty of destruction of property and scaring other creatures.
District Attorney Neil Rombardo, who played the judge, said his office created the mock trial as part of its community outreach and partnership with local schools. He said the office will visit at a school’s request.
“We hope they learn about the criminal justice system,” he said. “I think they use their active listening skills and their reasoning skills and they work together. It gives them a good idea of what goes on inside the courtroom.”
Teacher Racquel Abowd organized the visit.
“I think it’s a great experience for the kids,” she said. “They learn a little bit about U.S. government so this gives them a real experience they wouldn’t otherwise have. This is a hands-on, real-life application they can relate to and participate in.”