Grade 3 student Brenna King found herself behind glass in Superior Court earlier today. In fact, she was playing the role of the defendant, Jamie Rogers, during a mock trial.

The proceedings pitted law students from Dryden High School against their counterparts from St. Thomas Aquinas.

"It's a great experience. It gives us an idea of what a trial really is," said defence counsel Matt Favreau from Thomas Aquinas.

"I think it's a good experience if you want to pursue a law career, just because you're in here in the courthouse and there's a jury involved," agreed Jan Rondilla of T.A., who was helping Favreau with the defence.

In the scenario, Rogers was accused of assaulting and killing a man. So King was arraigned and tried before a jury, just as she might be in real life.

Payton Zilkalns and Mike Leutschaft of Dryden High School represented the Crown, as they prosecuted the case. Witnesses included Lexi Ireland and Mikayla Layer. Jessica Baird, Brendan Fenwick, Carly Waller and Destiny Derouin became jurors for a day.

The Eagles were also coached by law teacher Cynthia Palermo and Mihaela Leutschaft, along with legal advisors Tara Schuck and Kelsey Fuerst.

Steve Mastromatteo from St. Thomas Aquinas was very pleased to see so many from the courthouse volunteering their time. They included Justice David Gibson, Assistant Crown Attorney Peter Keen from Dryden, registrar Jacqui Newman, court reporter Mandy Sharples and criminal defence attorney Mark Schaub.

In the end, St. Thomas Aquinas earned the verdict of not guilty. 

"It was a very close scorecard from the Judge David Gibson, court recorder Mandy Sharples and registrar Jacqui Newman," said Mastromatteo.

"It was clear that both teams had committed, passionate participants. They took it very seriously. The comments for the judges were only outstanding!" he continued.

 

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