Eight Local High School Teams Advance to Mock Trial “Elite Eight,” with Individual Honors and Internships Awarded

Group in audience cheers

Eight local high schools have advanced to the “Elite Eight” of the 35th Annual Riverside County Mock Trial Competition.

Awards ceremony acknowledges blue ribbon recipients and internships with Riverside County Public Defender’s Office, Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, and the Riverside County Superior Court following fourth round of student competition.

RIVERSIDE – After four rounds of competition, legal teams from eight local high schools have advanced to the “Elite Eight” of the 35th Annual Riverside County Mock Trial Competition to be held on Thursday, March 1, 2018, at 6 pm. at the Robert Presley Hall of Justice (4100 Main Street, Riverside). The 2018 champion will be named after the semifinals and final rounds on Saturday, March 3, 2018.

Mock Trial Awards Ceremony Photo Gallery

“Elite Eight” Round

Prosecution vs. Defense
Notre Dame HS vs. Murrieta Valley HS
Arlington HS vs. Poly HS
Valley View HS vs. Ramona HS
John W. North HS vs. Martin Luther King HS

Additionally, more than a dozen students were honored for top performances with blue ribbons and prestigious internships in local legal organizations after the fourth round of competition on Saturday, February 24.

This year’s mock trial case involves the death of a member of an extremist nationalist group while another young man from the same town is on trial for murder. The alleged crime is the subject of the fictional court case that more than 500 students from high schools in Riverside County have been arguing during multiple rounds of competition in Indio, Murrieta, and Riverside courtrooms since February 8, 2018.

Mock Trial involves students arguing cases in front of real judges, and scored by real attorneys. The competition is open to all students in grades 9 through 12 enrolled in public and private high schools in Riverside County. Teams consist of 8-25 students filling the courtroom roles of defense and prosecution attorneys, witnesses, clerks, and more.
This year, student competitors will be arguing the fictional case of People v. Davidson. The trial focuses on Casey Davidson who faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of Alex Thompson, a member of the extremist Ulta Nats group. In 2017, Poly High School (Riverside USD) defeated Great Oak High School (Temecula Valley USD) to clinch their 17th title in the 34-year history of the competition in Riverside County.

The winning team will represent the county at the California Mock Trial competition to be hosted in Orange County on March 16-18, 2018. The National Mock Trial Competition will be held on May 10-12, 2018, in Reno, Nevada.

2018 Riverside County Mock Trial Competition
BLUE RIBBON AWARD RECIPIENTS

Outstanding Bailiff

1st Place – Gold Medal: Gustavo Reyes, Santiago High School

2nd Place – Silver Medal: Lakaila Franklin, Great Oak High School

3rd Place – Bronze Medal: Johnny Andrade, Ramona High School

Outstanding Clerk

1st Place – Gold Medal: Wendy Dochterman, Martin Luther King High School

2nd Place – Silver Medal: Katie Stone, Great Oak High School

3rd Place – Bronze Medal: Lawrence Nelson, Palm Valley High School

Outstanding Defense Pretrial Motion Attorney

1st Place – Gold Medal: Joshua Sullivan*, Poly High School

2nd Place – Silver Medal: Ethan Johnstone, Chaparral High School

3rd Place – Bronze Medal: America Delgado, Ramona High School

* Winner of paid summer internship in the Riverside County Courts and Riverside County Bar Foundation’s Honorable Douglas E. Weathers Scholarship

Outstanding Prosecution Pretrial Motion Attorney

1st Place – Gold Medal: Norah Muyambo*, Valley View High School

2nd Place – Silver Medal: Aaron Blackburn, Notre Dame High School

3rd Place – Bronze Medal: Sophia Esparza, John W. North High School

* Winner of paid summer internship in the Riverside County Courts and Riverside County Bar Foundation’s Honorable Douglas E. Weathers Scholarship

Outstanding Prosecution Witnesses

Witness: Adrian Carroll

1st Place – Gold Medal: Stephen Corley, Martin Luther King High School

2nd Place – Silver Medal: Meagan McKinney, Temecula Preparatory School

3rd Place – Bronze Medal: Shelby Armor, Palm Valley High School

Witness: Devon Morrison

1st Place – Gold Medal: Hannah Makkai, Palm Valley High School

2nd Place – Silver Medal: Connor Nickson, Martin Luther King High School

3rd Place – Bronze Medal: Carolina Acevedo, Temecula Valley High School

Witness: Hayden Rodriguez

1st Place – Gold Medal: Daryon Robinson, Valley View High School

2nd Place – Silver Medal: Litzy Alba, Heritage High School

3rd Place – Bronze Medal: Chris Weidman, Temecula Valley High School

Witness: Morgan Bonderman

1st Place – Gold Medal: Jahjaira Telles, Indio High School

2nd Place – Silver Medal: Kaylin Polk, Temecula Valley High School

3rd Place – Bronze Medal: Madison Dayus, Chaparral High School

Outstanding Defense Witnesses

Defendant: Casey Davidson

1st Place – Gold Medal: Fallon Heaslip, Murrieta Valley High School

2nd Place – Silver Medal: Emilia Kobylska, Ramona High School

3rd Place – Bronze Medal: Emily Arteaga, Martin Luther King High School

Witness: Tory Lee

1st Place – Gold Medal: Lindsay Bishop, Santiago High School

2nd Place – Silver Medal: Katie Lucius, Martin Luther King High School

3rd Place – Bronze Medal: Neil Angulo, Ramona High School 

Witness: Fabian Moreno

1st Place – Gold Medal: Schaylen Medeiros, Arlington High School

2nd Place – Silver Medal: Michelle Boulos Poly High School

3rd Place – Bronze Medal: Saúl Carrillo, John W. North High School

Witness: Avery Williams

1st Place – Gold Medal: Konrad Verbaarschott, Great Oak High School

2nd Place – Silver Medal: Charles Sands, Poly High School

3rd Place – Bronze Medal: Tieran Harvey, Temecula Preparatory School

Outstanding Prosecution Attorneys

Ariana Bazile, Valley View High School

Rachel Heil, Poly High School

Josiah Jones**, Valley View High School

** Winner of summer internship in District Attorney’s Office and Riverside County Bar Foundation’s Honorable Douglas E. Weathers Scholarship

Outstanding Defense Attorneys

Elizabeth Grant, Ramona High School

Madysen Moreno, Murrieta Valley High School

Daniel Sosa***, Martin Luther King High School

*** Winner of summer internship with the Public Defender’s Office and Riverside County Bar Foundation’s Honorable Douglas E. Weathers Scholarship

For a complete listing of the schedules and locations for all rounds of the competition, visit www.rcoe.us/student-events/mock-trial.

The Riverside County Mock Trial is sponsored by the Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE), the Riverside County Bar Association (RCBA), and the Riverside County Superior Courts, in cooperation with the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF). Since 1983, more than 13,500 Riverside County students have participated in Mock Trial.