Mock Trial continues to district competition

More stories from Siena Elliott

The team tries to lighten the mood during the state competition at Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center.

On Saturday, January 31, the DHS Mock Trial team competed in the Georgia Regional Mock Trial Competition. After spending twelve hours at the Decatur courthouse, they returned victorious with a second place win. The DHS team beat two teams in their district and continued on to the final round against the Dekalb School of the Arts. DHS unfortunately lost this round but still qualified for the district competition on Thursday, Feb 25 and Sunday, Feb 28.

The state was represented by attorneys Sophie Ledden (senior), Maleigha Cooper (junior) and Luke Chandler (junior). The state’s witnesses were Siena Elliott (senior), Jimmy O’Connor (senior) and Max Verlohr (sophomore.)

The defense was represented by attorneys Ellie Ritter (junior), Terryl Cronic (senior), and Ethan Munnerlyn (junior.) The defense’s witnesses were Alexander Hollins (junior), Annica Burmester (junior) and Graeme Weeks (sophomore.)

The team walked away with a total of four attorney awards given to Terryl, Ellie, Sophie and Maleigh and a witness award for Alexander Hollins.

After making it to the state level competition last year the team is revved up for this season. They haven’t qualified for state since 2012 and are hoping that they can “put this one in the win column.”

The criminal case this year is an investigation into the theft of The Cherokee Rose featuring witnesses such as an avant garde art thief and an ex-murderer.

Despite the loss of graduated seniors Jenna Hanes, Katy Lyle, Bryce Holden, Noemi Griffin and Alex Cummings, the team is confident that this year will be another victory.

The defense team from 2015. (From left to right) Thomas Russel, Alexander Hollins, Siena Elliott, Alex Cummings, Noemi Griffin, Terryl Cronic, Sophie Ledden, Jose Koluder-Ramirez)

After the stepping down of previous coach Jeanne Canavan, Assistant District Attorney Shelly Faulk has stepped up to be the head lawyer coach assisted by plenty of new attorney coaches. Kerri Williams has also joined Chris Watkinson as one of the DHS Mock Trial teacher sponsors. “This year’s mock trial team started very inexperienced with five of the twelve positions being filled by students by students who never competed in mock trial before. Our team has grown incredibly through the year, and are continuing to grow in their preparations for the next round of competition.” says Watkinson.

“I’m really excited for the new season! With a lot of great new talents and a fun case, I’m looking forward to returning to state.” Says four-year lawyer Terryl Cronic. She strongly believes that with hard work this new team will be able to make up for the loss of last years seniors and end her senior year with another state level competition.

“After losing five experienced mock trial members, we were fortunate to find new talent this year. The team won every preliminary round in the Regional competition, and they advanced to the District competition. We are working hard to prepare for that competition, with the goal of reaching the State finals for the second year.” says former coach Jeanne Canavan.