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Mock Trial

An innovative, hands-on experience in the law for high school students of all ages and abilities.

New Mexico mock trial cases are described below. Each case is ready for classroom use and is easily adaptable for use in other state mock trial programs. Cases may be used provided This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is obtained in advance and an appropriate credit to CCV is reflected in the adaptation. The case name and subject matter in the left-hand column below. A brief description of the case appears to the right of each case name. Case materials and videos or DVDs of prior national championship final rounds are also available by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Case materials available electronically will be provided at no cost via PDF. To order DVDs of prior national rounds, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. your request along with your purchase order number to CCV.

State vs. Townsend
Homelessness & Murder
Grades 9 - 12 (2013, 2001)
Statement of Facts

The murder trial of a restaurateur who is charged with killing a former employee who was homeless, allegedly because she was going to report him to the health authorities for supplementing his famous all beef green chile cheeseburgers with horsemeat.

United States vs. Aaron Halsey aka "Tex"
Homicide
Grades 9-12 (2013, 1998)
Statement of Facts

The trial of a drug dealer who is charged with the murder of two young boys during a Shalako ceremony on the Zuni reservation. Adapted with permission from "Dance Hall of the Dead," by Tony Hillerman. 

State vs. Barry
Vehicular Homicide
Grades 9-12 (2011, 1999)
Statement of Facts

The trial of a young woman who is charged with homicide by vehicle in the death of her baby. The child was delivered two months prematurely after Julie rolled the vehicle she was driving while under the influence of alcohol. Includes supplemental materials for teaching about teen pregnancy and DUI issues.

State vs. Nussbaum
Domestic Violence
Grades 9-12 (2006, 1997)
Statement of Facts

A first degree murder prosecution of a woman who killed the husband who allegedly abused her for years. Includes supplemental materials for teaching about domestic and teen dating violence.

Johnson vs. Brewster, Hays & White Aryan Separatist Party

Racism & Hate Crimes

Grades 9-12 (2004, 1996)
Statement of Facts

A civil wrongful death suit against a neo-Nazi hate group and its leader for the murder of an African American youth by a gang of skinheads the hate group was recruiting using White Supremacy web site and literature. Includes supplemental materials for teaching about racism and hate-related violence.

State vs. Taylor
Gang Violence
Grades 9-12 (2003, 1993)
Statement of Facts

The prosecution of a high school security officer who shot, allegedly in self defense, a suspected teen gang member after a high school football game. The guard is charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery and negligent use of a firearm.

State vs. Sands
Youth Violence & the Death Penalty
Grades 9 - 12 (2000)
Statement of Facts

The sentencing phase of a capital murder trial in which the defendant, Jordan Sands, was found guilty of the murder of a police officer who was on duty at an abortion clinic protest. The protest organizer and her two-year old grand child were also killed. Three months before the shootings, Sands' mother, a doctor who worked at the clinic, was killed in a bombing when she arrived at work.

State vs. Chris Jenkins, MD
Physician-Assisted Suicide
Grades 9-12 (1998)
Statement of Facts

The trial of a doctor who is charged with the first degree felony of coercing and/or exerting undue influence upon a cancer patient who died of a lethal overdose of pain medication, prescribed by the doctor. In preparing for trial, participating students and teachers will confront the highly-controversial issue of physician-assisted suicide. Includes supplemental materials for teaching about "right to die" issues.

State vs. Parker
Juvenile Death Penalty
Grades 9-12 (1990)

The sentencing phase of the capital murder trial of a 17-year-old, severely abused as a child, who killed a homeowner during a botched residential burglary.

State vs. Garrett
Driving Under the Influence
Grades 9-12 (1988)

The vehicular homicide prosecution of a teenager who allegedly struck and killed a pedestrian with a car while driving intoxicated.

McMann vs. Wapa County School Board
AIDS
Grades 9-12 (1988)

A suit for an injunction to prevent a high school from removing an AIDS-infected teenager from the school's basketball team.

Duran vs. Boswell School Board
In-School Search & Seizure
Grades 9-12 (1987)

A suit for an injunction to prevent a high school from expelling a teenager for possession of allegedly obscene materials discovered in a random search of student lockers.

Megan Barry graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School in Silverado, New Mexico, on May 29, 2010. She was 17 years old, and an active and successful student who had received a scholarship to Stanford University. Barry was also seven months pregnant, and was expected to give birth at the end of July 2010. It was her intent to give the child up for adoption.

Following the graduation ceremony on May 29, Barry attended a party that evening at the home of another 2010 BFHS graduate, Blake Colvin. Unbeknownst to Ms. Colvin’s parents, a keg of beer and some cases of bottled beer had been hidden in a storage building behind their house. Several of the guests, including Barry, visited the storage building during the party to partake of the alcohol.

During the party, some of the graduates, including Barry, decided to drive to the Grand Canyon in Arizona to watch the sunrise. At approximately 10:30 PM, Barry left Silverado alone in her sports utility vehicle, a 2005 Zuisu Gazelle, driving west on I-29, where the speed limit varied, depending on location, between 65 mph and 75 mph. A little more than an hour later, approaching Rye, New Mexico, and still on the interstate, Barry lost control of the vehicle, struck the guardrail, and rolled over.

Lt. Marty Pacheco, who had been proceeding east on I-29 but had turned around to follow Barry after she had passed him, driving, according to her/his testimony, erratically and at a high rate of speed, was first to arrive at the scene of the accident. S/He administered a field sobriety test, which Barry failed, and three breathalyzer tests with results of .04, .07 and .08.

Barry was transported by ambulance to New Mexico College Hospital, where her baby was delivered by e mergency cesarean section at about 5:30 AM on May 30, 2010. The 4½ pound boy, Baby Doe, died two days later. Cytogenetic testing confirmed that he had been born with Trisomy 13, a chromosomal disorder that causes severe mental retardation, physical abnormalities and, often, death.

Barry has been charged by the Rye County District Attorney with Homicide by Vehicle in the death of her son. At trial, the prosecution will call Frances/Francis Baykon, a friend of Barry’s who will testify that Barry drank alcohol at the graduation party; Lt. Pacheco, who will testify that Barry’s intoxication and recklessness caused the accident; and, Dr. Dakota Griffin, who will testify that the accident caused the death of Baby Doe.

The defense will call the defendant’s sister/brother, Logan Barry, who will testify that Barry was not impaired when she left Silverado; Dr. Madison James, who will testify that the accident was not caused by Barry’s drinking but by the instability of the vehicle she was driving; and, Dr. Taylor McGraw, who will testify that Baby Doe’s death was not caused by the accident but by his birth defect.  REQUEST THIS CASE

Written by Michelle Giger, Karl Johnson, Esq., and H. Nicole Werkmeister, Esq.

Thanks to Darryl Cordle, Esq., Jessica Hass, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and Neil Schamban, MD 

 

 

Center for Civic Values

Albuquerque, New Mexico

 

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