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Liberty High School wins Mock Trial

Courtesy of Kristi Winter

Liberty High School’s team (shown) beat three other schools to win the 2016-2017 Honorable Edward P. Moffat Madera County Mock Trial this past weekend.


Liberty High School triumphed over Madera, Madera South and Yosemite high schools Dec. 6, Thursday and Saturday in the 2016-2017 Honorable Edward P. Moffat Madera County Mock Trial.

Liberty’s defense and Yosemite’s prosecution teams competed in a championship round Saturday morning, the last of four rounds of competition across three days.

“All of the teams did a great job, making for a very competitive contest,” said Cecilia Massetti, Madera County superintendent of schools. “Mock Trial allows students to demonstrate their learning in a powerful way.”

Liberty’s team will represent the county at the state competition March 24-26 in Riverside. Members include Elizabeth Alvey, Elijah Banda, Cheyenne Collier, Wyatt Faccinto, Travin Feramisco, Sarah Folsom, Calissa Haney, Lilyana Jones, Emily Koop, Kaylan May, Vivian Montijo, Madison Person, Zachory Pia, Amanda Polster, Gregory Reitz, Haley Yang.

The team is coached by Keri Delong and former Mock Trial participants, Cody Egan, Carissa Miller, and Bethany Samarin. Local attorneys Rachel Cartier and Daniel Martin also coached the team.

Madera County will send a “courtroom artist” and “journalist” to the state competition. Evangelina Castellano from Madera South High School won the Courtroom Artist competition. She sketched a courtroom scene during Thursday’s trial. Alyza Lovenguth from Liberty High School won the Courtroom Journalist competition. She wrote a news article based on Thursday’s competition.

“We are pleased to have students from multiple schools representing Madera County at the state competition,” said Massetti. “We wish them all the best of luck during the next round of competition.”

During the fictional case People vs. Awbrey, Cameron Awbrey was tried for human trafficking and false imprisonment. Mock Trial students also discussed the Fourth and Fifth Amendments during the pretrial argument.

The Mock Trial is a simulation of a criminal court case in which the students act as attorneys, witnesses, bailiffs and clerks. Attorneys from throughout the Valley scored the students’ performance.

This was Liberty High School’s seventh year participating and fourth win.

Each team was coached by attorneys as well as teachers in preparation for the trial. The Madera team was coached by teacher Michael Horder and attorney Sally Moreno; Madera South was coached by teacher Rodia Montgomery-Gentry and attorneys Jason Leong, Noah Marshall, and David Peterson; Yosemite High was coached by teacher Eric McLane and Deborah Brown and attorney Bernie McGoldrick.

Judge Dale Blea, Judge Ernest LiCalsi, Judge Michael Jurkovich, and Judge Charles Wieland presided over the trials.

The Mock Trial and other student academic events are supported by Madera County Office of Education and Madera County Schools Foundation through community and business donations and volunteers. Madera County Superior Court co-sponsored the Mock Trial.

California Rights Foundation provided the trial cases.

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