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Published: Monday, 12/24/2012

Perrysburg Court Explorers enter Mock Trial competition

Explorers listen to coaching in preparation for the mock trial. Explorers listen to coaching in preparation for the mock trial.

Four teams from Perrysburg Court Law & Government Explorer Post #2306 have registered to compete in the 2012-2013 annual statewide mock trial competition.

District competition will take place Feb. 1. District winners from throughout the state will advance to the regional competition on Feb. 22, and state finals are March 7-9 in Columbus. The state winner will compete in the national competition May 9-11 in Indianapolis.

The Ohio Mock Trial Program, established by the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education in 1983, is a statewide educational program designed to allow students to become aware of their constitutional rights and responsibilities. It provides students the opportunity to learn first-hand about the law, court procedures and the judicial system while also building interpretation, critical thinking and public speaking skills.

The Perrysburg Court Explorers have participated in mock trials since 2003.

This year’s team members include Team Casey’s "The Melting Ice Cubes:" Madeline Burke, Ross Grilliot, Emma Hayward, Benjamin Hirt, Steven Hugg, Kaity Laumann, Alex Miller, Joseph Rakowski and Clara Thornberry.

Members of Team Osterud "The Flaming Ostriches" are: Devin Bilski, Nathanial Dobbs, Savannah Guy, Mahnur Khan, Alison Kopp, Meric Pope, Noah Rossler, Patrick Wang and Henry Yang.

Members of Team Riesen "The Paisley Dragons" are: Alexander Buzzell, John Gadient, Michael Gerber, Abdurrafey Khan, Alex Leong, Will Robinson, Nick Rossler, Irsyad Sjah and Niara Williams.

Members of Team Weiss "The Irish Warriors" are: Eryn Doyle, Megan Galle, Alex Katko, Michael Kepner, Huan Liang, Sam Malhas, Ryan McConnell, Zack McKenna, Alexandra Phlegar and Nisarg Shah.

Attorneys Peter R. Casey III, Kent Riesen, Dan Weiss and Judge S. Dwight Osterud are coaches for the teams. Assisting in coaching are attorney Adam Nowland, third-year University of Toledo law student Jake Studer, Explorer alumni Krista Huff, drama consultant Pinky Edens, and teaching advisor Beth Rohrbacher.

In this year’s case, a high school sophomore is suspected of setting a fire at the school that resulted in the death of a maintenance worker. The police then engage in a lengthy interrogation process that involves driving to the scene of the crime and the victim’s home as well as various interrogation techniques.

Late in the day, the defendant makes a statement claiming responsibility for the fire and is subsequently charged with murder and arson. However, the defendant later recants the confession. The defendant has alleged that the statements were improperly coerced by the police in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments and filed a motion to suppress.

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