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Glenwood Springs to host high school mock trial

Staff Report

Feb 21, 2019

Glenwood Springs will host the Western Slope regional mock trial tournament this weekend at the Garfield County Courthouse. Locally, students from Rifle, New Castle and Glenwood Springs schools will be competing.

Three teams from Glenwood Springs High School and two from Rifle High School, a team from Liberty Classical Academy in New Castle, and two teams from Grand Junction will take part in the high school mock trial, sponsored in part by the Colorado Bar Association.

The GSHS teams are coached by private attorney Charlie Willman, Isabel Carlson and 9th District prosecuting attorney Zac Parsons.

Two triumphant teams from Saturday and Sunday’s events will advance to the state championships held in Denver March 8 and 9.

The first round of the tournament begins Saturday, and the public is invited to come and watch.

“These students exemplify what is great about today’s students,” Willman said.

The rounds begin at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, and at 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Sunday. The awards presentation will follow at 3:30 p.m.

This year, the case the students will be trying involves fictional criminal charges against a college professor accused of breaking into another professor’s house to steal valuable journals related to Zebulon Pike’s famous expeditions.

The defense witnesses in the case will argue that the alleged victim actually destroyed his own journals, with an accomplice, because he feared they would be discovered to be forgeries.

Each team will either argue as prosecution or defense, with three attorneys and three witnesses on each team, to either prove the burglary beyond a reasonable doubt or show that it was a “frame job.”

Students are scored on professionalism, their demeanor, confidence and knowledge of problem and the rules of evidence.

In 2018, one of the GSHS teams took the tournament title and competed in Greeley for the state championship.

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