Mock trial team falls in opening meet


Courtesy photo

Mock Trial team members include, front row (l to r): Lauren Young, Sarah Berkowitz, and Joey Rettig; back row (l to r): Brandie Ray, Kayleigh Fitzgerald, Emma Corrado, Brendan Andrews, and Jackson Boyer.

Alex Frederick, Staff Writer

Wednesday night, the Bellwood-Antis Mock Trial had its first meet of the season at the Blair County Courthouse in Hollidaysburg against the Altoona B Team.

The teams were arguing the case of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania versus Rae Shafer.

“This year’s trial is about a doctor who prescribed opioids to her patients. One of those patients died due to a combination of opioids that Dr. Shafer prescribed and Xanax that she got from another doctor,” saidMr. Matthew Elder, a B-A P.O.D. teacher who is the club’s advisor. “The doctor is thus on trial for causing the death of a patient through the prescription of drugs because she didn’t check to see if the patient was on other drugs.”

B-A argued as the prosecution on Wednesday.

“The kids did amazing, a really good job” said advisor Mr. Elder.

Lawyers on the case were Emma Corrado, Jackson Boyer, and Brendan Andrews, with witnesses  Brandie Ray, Kaleigh Fitz, and Lauren Young.

Ray is the only senior o the team, and  many of the members are competitive speakers trying Mock Trial for the first time.

“It was my first time so I was really nervous,” Ray said. “I felt we had a really good argument, but for most of us it was our first time doing a Mock Trial meet, so the other team was able to get us on a lot of procedural things.”

The final ballot count was 4-2 in favor of Altoona, while in the final total score Altoona edged B-A 491-490.

Boyer won the Best Attorney award for B-A, with Ray winning Best Witness.

The next Mock Trial meet will take place in Ebensburg, January, 30 vs Central Cambria. At that time Bellwood-Antis wil take on the role of the defense.

Mock Trial in Pennsylvania is a team competition run by the Pennsylvania State Bar Association that allows students to take on the part of lawyers and witnesses in a simulated trial. It incorporates research, debate and performance along with competitive speaking.