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

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.

Mock Trial Team celebrates

Students Trysten Slack, Alpha-Ruth Muyambo and Keenan Cooper from Valley View High School at the announcement that their team has made the Elite 8.

RIVERSIDE – After four rounds of competition, legal teams from eight local high schools have advanced to the “Elite Eight” of the 38th Annual Riverside County Mock Trial Competition to be held on Thursday, February 27, 2020, at 6 pm. at the Robert Presley Hall of Justice (4100 Main Street, Riverside).

The 2020 champion will be named after the semifinals at 9 a.m. and final round at 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 29, 2020, at the Riverside Historic Courthouse

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 22.

“Elite Eight” Round

Prosecution vs. Defense

John W. North HS vs. Poly HS

Murrieta Valley HS vs. Notre Dame HS

Martin Luther King HS vs. Ramona HS

Valley View HS vs. Arlington HS

2020 Mock Trial Awards Photo Gallery

2020 Riverside County Mock Trial Competition
BLUE RIBBON AWARD RECIPIENTS

Outstanding Bailiff

1st Place – Gold Medal: Thomasa Guillen, Coachella Valley HS

2nd Place – Silver Medal: Matthew Gonzalez, Patriot HS

3rd Place – Bronze Medal: Lidaisjah Bell, Hemet HS

Outstanding Clerk

1st Place – Gold Medal: Dylan Aguinaldo, Great Oak HS

2nd Place – Silver Medal: Melanie Quintana Reyna, Palm Desert HS

3rd Place – Bronze Medal: Tishmanim Rhodes, San Jacinto HS

Outstanding Defense Pretrial Motion Attorney

1st Place – Gold Medal: Ivana Ron*, Chaparral HS

2nd Place – Silver Medal: Bilal Shokoor, Martin Luther King HS

3rd Place – Bronze Medal: Isaiah Banuelos, Patriot HS

* 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: Miranda Flores*, Poly HS

2nd Place – Silver Medal: Marcos Britsch, Murrieta Valley HS

3rd Place – Bronze Medal: Bilal Shokoor, Martin Luther King HS

* 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:

1st Place – Gold Medal: Alayna Pezzuto, Santiago HS

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

3rd Place – Bronze Medal: Isabella Brough, Martin Luther King HS

Witness:

1st Place – Gold Medal: Victoria Fisher, Santiago HS

2nd Place – Silver Medal: Mia Puga, Indio HS

3rd Place – Bronze Medal: Precious Baltazar, Martin Luther King HS

Witness:

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

2nd Place – Silver Medal: Matthew Damian, Santiago HS

3rd Place – Bronze Medal: Kyle Fox, Temecula Valley HS

Witness:

1st Place – Gold Medal: Iliana Lazaro, Arlington HS

2nd Place – Silver Medal: Keenan Cooper, Valley View HS

3rd Place – Bronze Medal: Jacob Phelps, Martin Luther King HS

Outstanding Defense Witnesses

Defendant:

1st Place – Gold Medal: Roxalana Johnson, Chaparral HS

2nd Place – Silver Medal: Jorge Aragon, Heritage HS

3rd Place – Bronze Medal: Amory Martin, Ramona HS

Witness:

1st Place – Gold Medal: Charles Sands, Poly HS

2nd Place – Silver Medal: Grace Velasquez, Temecula Preparatory

3rd Place – Bronze Medal: Amelia Lucas, Murrieta Valley HS

Witness:

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

2nd Place – Silver Medal: Carter Yoon, Palm Desert HS

3rd Place – Bronze Medal: Hannah Alarcon, Martin Luther King HS

Witness:

1st Place – Gold Medal: Rebekah Marmolejo, Arlington HS

2nd Place – Silver Medal: Jennifer Hibbard, Poly HS

3rd Place – Bronze Medal: Nicholas Duran, Martin Luther King HS

Student Melanie Voorhis with District Attorney Hestrin

Melanie Voorhis from Notre Dame High School with District Attorney Hestrin.

Outstanding Prosecution Attorneys

Melanie Voorhis*, Notre Dame HS

Emma Alexander, Ramona HS

Esmeralda Salcedo, Murrieta Valley HS

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

Josiah Jones and Public Defender Harmon

Valley View High School student Josiah Jones with Public Defender Harmon.

Outstanding Defense Attorneys

Josiah Jones*, Valley View HS

Rachel Danover, Chaparral HS

Guinivere Kimber, Poly HS

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

Mock Trial involves students arguing cases in front of real judges, and scored by practicing 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.

Attorneys, judges, and legal professionals from across Riverside County are among the 14,000 students who have participated in Mock Trial now in its 38th year of competition. The month-long competition is sponsored by Riverside County Superior Courts, the Riverside County Bar Association, and the Riverside County Office of Education.

The fictional case materials provide the facts and legal background for this year’s trial, People v. Matsumoto. The trial is focused on Bailey Matsumoto, the founder of a technology start-up that develops autonomous (self-driving) trucks. Bailey is charged with the murder of Bailey’s spouse, Taylor Matsumoto.