Logos Christian Academy goes to court
The Logos Christian Academy fifth through eighth-grade classes recently attended court at the Churchill County Justice courtroom to perform a mock trial.
Students were given parts for the trial ranging from lawyers to witnesses, to jury members to court officers. The lawyer teams were made up of Caitlin Maronde, Lana Quint and Savannah Sweeney for the prosecution and Helen Albaugh, Melanie Nuckolls and Michael Roberts for the defense. Both teams were given background information on the case and spent time preparing their witnesses for trial and learning about courtroom procedure.
“We were kind of nervous for the trial because we wanted to prove [the defendant] Tracy Rose guilty,” said Maronde, lead attorney for the prosecution.
“We were certain our client, Tracy Rose was innocent,” said Albaugh, lead attorney for the defense. “But, we were concerned that the jury might become confused with the facts of the case.”
The trial began at 9 a.m. when the bailiff, played by Evan Stankewicz, asked the court to “all rise.” Then, Judge Ben Trotter, the current Churchill County Sheriff, called the court into session and announced the case, State of Nevada vs. Tracy Rose. He proceeded to ask the court clerk, played by Julia Reep, to swear in the jury and read the statement of facts. The court Rreporter, played by Stephanie Seline, began taking notes for the court record as requested by the judge.
What was the issue of the trial called State of Nevada vs. Tracy Rose? Rose was accused of stealing a car after attending her high school’s homecoming dance. The witnesses for the prosecution were Officer Michael Mellor, played by Hunter Howard, Curtis Brodkin, played by Daniel Seline, Carly Cooper, played by Abbie Tate and Nancy Markovosky, played by Madison Blea. The defense also had a set of witnesses beginning with the accused Tracy Rose, played by Glenda Lee; Stephanie Winslow, played by Jade Bauman; and lastly, Dixon Snell, played by Brian Seline.
During the trial, the jury heard arguments from both sides about who was guilty and who was innocent. After the hearing and closing arguments, Trotter provided the jury with a set of instructions and commissioned them to jury deliberation and reach a verdict. He reminded the jury that if their verdict is guilty, it must be “beyond a reasonable doubt” or if there is an uncertainty of the defendant’s guilt, than the jury must return a “not guilty verdict.”
For a tense 40 minutes, the jury — played by Grace Taylor, Kaiya Scott, Nathan Baze, Chloe Minner, Ashby Trotter along with several parents — deliberated and finally reached a verdict. When they returned, the verdict was read.
“We, the members of the jury, find the defendant Tracy Rose, not guilty of grand theft auto,” said jury foreperson Grace Taylor.
With the verdict in their favor, the defense team Albaugh, Nuckolls and Roberts, along with Rose, were visibly happy. Judge Trotter announced that Ross was free to go and adjourned the court.
Overall, Gretchen Felte and John Billett, teachers for the students, said were both pleased with how the trial went.
“This was a good experience for the students,” Felte said.
“They learned that trials are not like what they see on TV,” he said. “They are about evidence and logic, not emotion. It was a great experience for them to have.”