The Scioto County District Mock Trial Competition took place on Friday, Feb. 3, at the Scioto County Courthouse and the Scioto County Municipal Building. Eleven teams of high school students from nine school districts competed against one another in the 29th annual Ohio Mock Trial District Competition, which is sponsored by the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE). Each year the OCLRE creates a fictional case involving a constitutional issue. The District Competition was coordinated by Sharee Price, Gifted Services Coordinator at the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center, and Judge Howard H. Harcha III.
In this year’s case, Storm Jackson, a college freshman, is accused of stealing prescription drugs while attending two real estate open houses and while visiting at the houses of two friends. The defendant and his parents’ names were on a sign-in list at both of the open houses. Without a warrant, the police subpoenaed and obtained Storm Jackson’s cell phone GPS records before he was arrested. Storm Jackson has filed a motion to suppress claiming the evidence seized was the result of an improper search and seizure that violated his Fourth Amendment rights.
During competition, a team of five to 11 students must play both plaintiff and defendant, and participate in two trials against different high schools. District winners from throughout the state will advance to the Regional Competition on Friday, Feb. 24. The State Finals will then take place March 8-10 in Columbus.
The nine participating school districts in this year’s district competition were: Minford, Notre Dame, Portsmouth, Portsmouth West, Sciotoville Community, South Webster, St. Joseph Central (Ironton), Valley and Wheelersburg. The event was sponsored locally by American Legion James Dickey Post 23, American Savings Bank, Portsmouth Bar Association, Portsmouth Rotary Club, Southern Ohio Medical Center, The Honorable Howard H. Harcha III, and the Scioto Foundation.
To advance to the Regional Competition, a team must win both trials in the competition. This year, three teams from the Scioto County District will advance to the Regional level; Portsmouth High School (Team Blue), Portsmouth High School (Team Red) and St. Joseph Central (Ironton) High School (Team Flyers).
Lead by their coaches, Amy Keating and Tracy Campbell and their legal advisors, Jay Willis and Maggie Miller, the Portsmouth High School (Team Blue) won the overall competition. St. Joseph Central (Ironton) High School team won Runners-Up in the competition with Glenna McClain as their coach and Mark McCown as their legal advisor.