On March 27th, students in Mr. Loomis’s Business Law class conducted a mock trial at the Tracey Memorial courthouse in Chatham. The fictional case involved charges of assault with a deadly weapon and cyber-bullying against an 18-year-old named “Jesse Woodson.” The cyber-bullying charge was dismissed by the judge after a pretrial argument by the defense.
The prosecution accused Woodson of being the reason for 13-year old “Angel Sterling” having suffered a concussion from being struck with a brick on her way home from school one day. The defense claimed that the defendant was not guilty and the evidence was circumstantial at best. The victim was sure she had heard the victim’s voice before being struck, but there were no witnesses.
In the end, the jury found Woodson not guilty. The lead defense attorney, played by Gaby Neven, and assistant defense attorney, acted by Liam Merchant, did an outstanding job at casting considerable doubt that their client caused the injuries to the victim.
Roles in the case (in addition to the defense attorneys) included:
- Judge – Willy Wade
- Bailiff – Keon Armstrong
- District Attorney – Ethan Mesick
- Assistant District Attorney – Ray Lippman
- Pre-Trial Attorneys – Matthew Campbell (defense) and Pamela Mountain (prosecution)
- Paralegals – Brandon Martino (defense) and Emily Westover (prosecution)
- Jesse Woodson (defendant) – Triston Schermerhorn
- Angel Sterling (victim) – Anderson Coonrad
- Detective Frankie Cooper (prosecution witness) – Patrick Allen
- Dr. Sam Holloway (prosecution witness) – Ryan Alderdice
- Teacher Chris Draper (prosecution witness) – Liliana Draper
- Student Madison Jackson (defense witness) – Samerpreet Kaur
- Dr. Brook Crane (defense witness) – Justin King
- Vice Principal Sydney Campbell (defense witness) – Shirley Harvey
Members of the jury included class member Aaliyah Harris, joined by Chatham High School Vice Principal Eric Papandrea and teachers Jim Flanagan and Jessica Samplaski. The 12-member jury was filled in by National Honor Society members Tom Cozzolino, Tyrene Campbell, Angelina George, Jenny Cartwright, Eliza Klingler, Jasmin Kaur, Sam Walter, Maeve Rochester.
Business Law is a high school elective business class instructed by Michael Loomis. Students study the fundamentals of legal liability, principles of law and contracts, sales, agency, and employment law along with other topics. Students have the option of earning three credits from Columbia Greene Community College by taking this course.