Yosemite wins Madera County Mock Trial
For The Madera Tribune
The Yosemite High School Madera County Mock Trial winning team. Back row, from left, are Lochlann Henderson, Logan Beaumont, Kaya Whitesides, Makayla Jeffris, Emma Fries, Jane Irion, Reesa Geyer, Lucas Wade; Front row from left are Thomas Skahill (teacher coach), Lucy Pierce, Elisa Heidebrecht, Hannah Beaumont, Ava Stanley, Stevie Trujillo, Justin Beaumont and Katherine Wilcox Not pictured are Thomas Dudley and attorney coach Nanette Beaumont.
Yosemite High School won the 2022 Honorable Edward P. Moffat Madera County Mock Trial held between Jan. 19-Feb. 2.
Yosemite will now compete at the state Mock Trial March 17-20.
Yosemite High School battled Madera, Madera South, Matilda Torres, and Minarets high schools. This is the first year that Matilda Torres and Minarets high schools competed in the competition.
“We were pleased to welcome two new schools this year expanding access for students to this program even in the midst of the pandemic,” said Dr. Cecilia Massetti, Madera County Superintendent of Schools. “We wish Yosemite High School continued success at the state competition and know they will represent our county well.”
This year’s event was held exclusively online through Zoom. Students competed from their individual school sites, arguing the hypothetical case, People vs. Cobey, in front of a Madera County judge.
“We are proud of the efforts of every student who has signed on for the opportunity to compete in our second virtual competition and perform at a high standard of excellence,” said Massetti. “All students did a great job and rose to the challenges set before them.”
Team members that will be competing in the state competition for Yosemite include: Hannah Beaumont, Justin Beaumont, Logan Beaumont, Thomas Dudley, Emma Fries, Reesa Geyer, Elisa Heidebrecht, Lochlann Henderson, Jane Irion, Kaya Whitesides, Katie Wilcox, Makayla Jeffris, Lucy Pierce, Ava Stanley, Stevie Trujillo, Lucas Wade. The team was coached by Thomas Skahill and local attorney Nanette Beaumont.
Madera County will also be sending a courtroom artist and a courtroom journalist to the state competition. This year, during the Courtroom Artists competition, students drew a courtroom scene was they watched their school’s first trial. Madison Mikkelsen from Minarets won the Courtroom Artist competition.
During the Courtroom Journalist competition, students watched a trial and submitted a newspaper article reporting the events of the trial. This year’s winner is Hazel Taintor from Minarets.
“We are excited to have a student artist and journalist represent Madera County at the state competition,” Massetti said. “We believe in our Madera County champions and know they will shine at the next level of competition.”
During the fictional case, People vs. Cobey, Jamie Cobey was tried with the homicide of Cobey’s landlord and next-door neighbor, Erik Smith. Mock Trial students also discussed the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure 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.
Yosemite High School has competed for all 38 years of competition in Madera and have won 31 titles.
Each team was coached by local attorneys, as well as teachers, in preparation for the trial. The Madera team was coached by Michael Horder and attorneys Stephanie Dunn and Traci Wise. Madera South was coached by Amanda Elliot-Ester and attorney Noah Marshall. Matilda Torres was coached by Kimberlee Thorson and attorneys Keane Anrig and Nicholas Karp. Minarets was coached by Mikendra McCoy, Breezy Benally and Talitha Musacchio.
Judge Dale Blea, Judge Ernest LiCalsi, Judge Sosi Vogt, Commissioner Elizabeth Diaz, District Attorney Sally Moreno, and Assistant District Attorney Jeff Dupras presided over the trials. The Mock Trial was held on five separate days and each team participated in four rounds of competition. Local attorneys scored the trials throughout the competition.
The Mock Trial and other student academic events are supported by Madera County Superintendent of Schools 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.