Guilty as Charged!

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The courtroom erupted as the jury delivered a guilty verdict in the case of The State of Virginia vs. Judd Travers, who was accused of shooting a doe while hunting out of season.

Such was the case tried during a mock trial at Winthrop Avenue by Theresa Wallace’s fourth-grade students. Not only did the students prepare for their parts as defendant, plaintiff, trial lawyers, jurors, stenographers, bailiffs and court reporters for several weeks, but invited parent and attorney Christopher Elliot to serve as the judge. Elliot presented a workshop on criminal justice prior to the mock trial, which prompted the activity. 

‘The mock trial experience is authentic, because things are happening as they unfold,” Wallace stated. “During this experience, the students have honed listening and speaking skills and have learned to craft open-ended questions, which are important life skills.”

The prosecution team won with a presentation of evidence suggesting that the doctor who diagnosed Judd Travers with severe myopia did not have a medical license after pleading guilty to writing false prescriptions. They also noted that Travers did not wear his glasses during the trial, making it unlikely he had severe myopia.