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Mock trial jury finds man guilty, while real jury found him innocent
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When a jury trial went from real life to reenactment, a court case involving a DUI charge ended with a different verdict for one unlucky defendant.
Members of the Citizens Police Academy were part of a mock trial held recently at McMinnville Police Department. The case was taken from an actual court case heard in Warren County.
Retired Judge Charles Haston, who presided over the mock trial, as well as local attorneys and representatives from the district attorney’s office, offered a realistic feel to the event.
“We first offered a mock trial during the last class and it was instantly a huge success,” said McMinnville Police Chief Charlie Sewell. “Local attorneys and police officers participate in a realistic depiction of this important part of our criminal justice system.”
Darrell Julian, of the DA’s office, played the part of the prosecutor, and John Partin played the defense attorney for the accused, Norman Elrod.
Elrod’s defense claimed he was impaired because of a head injury. The prosecution maintained Elrod was under the influence of narcotics. On a prescription narcotic at the time, blood tests indicated the level of narcotics was within therapeutic levels.
He was found guilty.
In the real-life case, the defendant was found not guilty.
Susan Campbell, from the DA’s office, played the role of a TBI crime lab analyst. The jury was played by Citizens Police Academy class members. CPA alumni, District Attorney General Lisa Zavogiannis, and other CPA class members were among the audience.
The mock trial is one of numerous hands-on experiences, including traffic stops, narcotic investigation, crime scene investigation, and accident reconstruction, offered by CPA for its class members. Nine classes have been held since 2007, with the last two involving mock trials.