Mock-trial 2018

Annett Tamayo, Staff Writer


The People Vs Davidson

This year our mock trial team has been working extremely hard to prepare the case that will determine the fate of the defendant Casey Davidson.The case takes place in Acorn CA.  It revolves around rival political parties, the “Equality for all “ who are in favor of immigrants and the “Our America”who oppose immigrant rights. This trial is focused on the murder of David Thompson a member of the “Our America”, the person charged with murder is Casey Davidson a member of “Equality for all”. She faces a count of first degree murder for the death of Alex Thompson. Davidson and Thompson were known rivals, they have been seen in physical scuffles before the murder. Thompson was killed on September 14 2017. On September 14th, a speech was scheduled. The “O’Canity speech” was a place where many gathered to give support or backlash on immigration policies. The prosecution must prove that the defendant maliciously killed Thompson beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense must prove that the defendant is not a malicious murderer and must find doubt in the prosecution’s argument. Students have assumed the roles of trial attorneys, pretrial motion attorneys, witnesses, clerks, and bailiffs.


The prosecution attorney’s ( Thais Macias, Phoeby Hosley, and Araya Turner) argue that Davidson murdered Thompson with his own walking stick on September 14th the day of the O’Canity rally. The prosecution argues that Davidson had the intent to commit this murder and he did so willfully and deliberately with premeditation. On September 14th Thompson was punched in the face by an unknown suspect while being in a scuffle with Davidson over a walking stick. He went to the restroom and never returned. He was later found dead at about 10:15.He died of subdural hematoma. Davidson made posts directed towards the victim before the murder.“Someone should kill Tanterran haters like you “. The defendant also exclaimed “Here’s my chance” when Thompson went to the bathroom because of a bloody nose. The prosecution calls four witnesses to support their case: Detective Carroll (Portrayed by Destiny Mallari), Morgan Bonderman the defendant’s friend (Portrayed by Asra Hussaan) Hayden Rodriguez a reporter who was at the rally (portrayed by Dominique Mouton) and Devon Morrison the expert witness (Portrayed by Barbara Gonzalez).


The defense attorney’s ( Eric Fritz, Angeline Armistead, and Araya Turner) argue that Davidson did not murder Alex Thompson. The defendant is a peaceful person who had an alibi. According to testimonies the defendant was buying batteries for his bullhorn very close to the time of the murder. Avery Williams the tech shop owner testified that he saw the defendant at her shop and had receipts to prove so. The defense also argues that all of the evidence that the prosecution has is completely circumstantial. The defendant’s response to the threatening internet posts was that “ it was someone else who posted these comments”. The defense will call to the stand four witnesses that will add on to their case. The defendant Casey Davidson (Portrayed by Stephanie Herrera), Fabian Moreno a history teacher who attended the rally (portrayed by Kaitlyn Wilkerson), Avery Williams the tech shop owner (portrayed by Maha Ghafoor) and the expert witness Doctor Tory Lee (Portrayed by Alex Alon).

The Pretrial motion

The pretrial issue in this case focuses on whether obtaining GPS location information from a third party GPS company is a search under the fourth amendment.The fourth amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, and protects people in their houses, papers, and effects. Law enforcement used such GPS information to gather evidence during the investigation to show that Davidson had traveled to Thompson’s residence several times in the days before Thompson’s death, and to the meeting place of the Rads( a violent group). If the prosecution pretrial attorney wins the evidence is entered and the prosecution will be able to use this location data to support their argument of premeditation. If the defense attorney wins the motion the evidence will be excluded from the case.

I was the prosecution Pretrial attorney representing the people in this fourth amendment issue. My argument for this matter was that the rights of the defendant were not violated because you cannot reasonably expect information that is being voluntarily turned over to a third party to remain private according to the 4th circuit court case “U.S vs Graham” and the supreme court case “Smith Vs Maryland”. There was also no physical intrusion in the car nor was there a search, therefore the fourth amendment was not violated. The fourth amendment also does not protect location information, therefore there were no violations and a warrant was not needed to obtain this information.

Opposing counsel (Elena Harcha) the pretrial attorney representing Casey stated that the defendant does have an expectation of privacy because according to the Supreme Court case “Katz Vs U.S” many people have an expectation of privacy when it comes to information being obtained by the government and one does not voluntarily submit this data to the companies. The court case “In re application for a criminal investigation” also support this argument.

My experience

It was my first time in Mock-trial. Although I have done Mock-trial’s in my law class before this was a complete different experience. This year I had the honor to be the Pretrial attorney for the prosecution. Before the actual trial began I was in charge to argue against the defense, regarding the fourth amendment. I personally found this case very interesting because the Supreme Court is currently deciding on this matter. Memorizing tons of supreme court cases was a lot of work but it was tons of fun and very informative! Walking into a courtroom and giving my argument in front of a judge was nerve racking but it felt amazing ! The judge always interrupted the pretrial attorney’s with questions they have regarding the argument. Being able to answer those questions was again an amazing feeling because I knew this case back to back. Mock-trial was very fun and a great experience I am glad I joined !

The 2018 mock-trial team had help from 3 amazing attorney coaches: Donna Brorby, Adriana Beach and Amy Kimmel. They volunteered their time to come and guide us through this case this year and it was a big help! Also thanks to Ms.Blades the club sponsor, we were also able to have a place to practice and get ready for competition !