Each year, a real crime is used for the high school mock trial case. This year the case involved the murder of a homeless person in Albuquerque.
On November 20, the body of a homeless woman, later identified as that of Terese Jameson, the mother of 14-year-old Mickey Jameson (played by Lori Anne Carrillo) and a former employee of the a cafe in downtown Albuquerque, was discovered by Detective Ray Taylor (played by Jerah Cordova) in a trash dumpster in the alley behind the cafe.
Fingerprints on a brick, that was stained with Jameson’s blood and found with the body, belonged to cafe owner Carrie Townsend (played by Lauren Lopez), who has been charged with second-degree murder in Jameson’s death.
According to Kim Sanchez (played by Tiffany Romero), an employee of the homeless shelter where the Jamesons had stayed briefly, Townsend had fired Teresa Jameson when she confronted her with her suspicion that horse meat was being used in the cafe’s famous half-pound all-beef burgers.
On the morning of her death, according to Mickey, Terese went to the cafe intending to tell Townsend that unless she rehired her, she would report her to the city health authorities.
The only other person in the cafe that morning was Sandy Gonzales (played by Elizabeth Chavez), a meat delivery driver, who says that she did not witness any altercations between Town-send and Jameson but that she did later observe a group of teen-aged boys around the dumpster in the alley where her delivery truck was parked.
Jean Wade (played by Theresa Baca) believes her son, Stephen “Big Dog” Wade, who is in a local gang that has a reputation for preying on the homeless and who is currently missing, may be involved in the murder.
The question before the attorneys played by Jessica Miles, Brandi Hayes, Jerah Cordova and Lauren Lopez was: Did Townsend murder Terese Jameson to keep her from reporting her suspicions about horse meat or were Wade and his gang responsible for her death?
Each student had to become the character they portrayed in the trial. The lawyers had to develop cases for and against their clients.
The high school students debated the case as the lawyers had in 2001 to see if they could persuade the judge of their arguments.
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