High school student Adrian Vega faced hit-andrun charges Wednesday at his trial, which continues today and Saturday. But rather than a real-life tragedy, his case is this year’s Honorable Edward P. Moffat Madera County Mock Trial competition, People vs. Vega.
During the fictional case, Vega will be tried for hitting bicyclist, Cameron Douglas, while texting and driving. The prosecution alleges that as Vega was entering the intersection, Adrian was texting, failed to stop at a stop sign, hit the victim, and then fled the scene. The defense argues Vega was not the driver of the vehicle, and instead Toni De Luca, a foreign exchange student who lives on the Vegas’ property, was the driver of the vehicle that struck Cameron.
Mock Trial students will also discuss the Fifth Amendment and the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Miranda vs. Arizona during the pretrial argument. The issue is whether or not the circumstances surrounding Vega’s interaction with the police amounted to custodial interrogation. If so, the officer would have been required to read the defendant the Miranda warnings prior to interrogation.
The Mock Trial event began Wednesday afternoon at the Sierra Courthouse in Bass Lake with Judge Charles A.Wieland presiding and Minarets and Yosemite high schools competing. Second and third trials will be at the Madera Courthouse at 1:30 p.m. Thursday and 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Minarets and Liberty High Schools will face off Thursday with Commissioner Nancy C. Staggs as judge. Liberty and Yosemite high schools will compete Saturday under Judge Ernest J. LiCalsi...