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Students take stand in mock trial event

A mock trial competition was held in the Jonesborough Courthouse in which Unicoi County High School placed fourth out of ten teams on Saturday. Sarah Shults, a local attorney and team coach said they received many compliments from mock trial judges and jurors, who are also attorneys from surrounding areas and participate through the Young Lawyers Association. “One of the judges said that Unicoi brought out details in the case that he had not heard all day,” said Shults. The case used for the entire mock trial competition was based upon an arson and insurance fraud. The UCHS
mock trial team has been going over the case since November. “They just seemed to thrive,” Shults said. “They got better and better. They listened to the remarks and responded very well with their questioning.” Each member of the team had a role to play. The team competes together, but is essentially divided into a plaintiff team and a defense team.

On the defense team was attorneys Dara Carney-Needleman, Tyler Williams and William Simerly with witnesses Brooke Shelton, Nathan Farnor and Logan Higgins.

The plaintiff team was comprised of attorneys Tosha Turner, Caleb Mc-Neese and Tyler Williams
with witnesses Morgan Brown, Amanda Briest and Brooke Shelton. Lorianne Wright provided acting tips for the team to use during competition to make their testimony more intense and realistic said Shults.

Shults said the team has four experienced members out of ten students and three were freshman. “Those four were strong leaders and good teachers for the others,” she said. “This was a
very impressive finish, for any age. It takes everyone being that good to make it that long in the competition.” Some of the schools that UCHS beat during the double elimination competition were Science Hill’s junior varsity team, South Greene and David Crockett. They competed from 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. “They’re an impressive group,” she said. “They really represented Unicoi County well.”