School will represent Tennessee at national competition in May
NASHVILLE, March 19, 2013 -- The Kingsport Area Christian Home Education Association (KACHEA) team claimed the state high school mock trial championship title this past weekend, defeating Montgomery Bell Academy of Nashville. The team now will represent Tennessee at the National High School Mock Trial Competition in Indianapolis, Ind., May 9-11.
The two-day state competition, sponsored by the Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, involved 14 teams and 200 volunteers, including lawyers, law students and paralegals. In addition, sitting judges in the state presided over the trial rounds at the Metro Davidson County Courthouse in downtown Nashville. Tennessee Supreme Court Justice William Koch presided over the championship match Saturday evening.
The teams put their skills to the test arguing the fictitious case of State of Tennessee v. Cameron Paul, in which an auto mechanic is suspected of murdering Thor Brush, an investment broker who gets local businessmen to invest in a sham company. News of the scheme breaks and clients, including Paul, find they have lost everything. Brush is indicted and awaiting trial when he dies in a car crash. Paul had recently worked on Brush's car and police determine the brakes were deliberately loosened. The state argues that Paul - upset about his financial loss - intentionally tampered with the car. The defense places blame on Brush, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was texting, and had fatal levels of medication in his system at the time of the crash.
It was KACHEA's first year to compete in the championship round. It placed fourth last year. To reach the state competition, each team had to win its respective district competition held throughout February.
At a ceremony immediately preceding the championship round, students were recognized for their efforts. TBA President Jackie Dixon, an attorney with Weatherly McNally & Dixon PLC in Nashville, presented awards to the top 10 teams, the best lawyers and witnesses, the most valuable players for each team, and the team exhibiting the best sportsmanship-like behavior.
Team Sportsmanship Award
Smith County High School of Carthage -- in its first visit to the state competition -- took the Team Sportsmanship Award. The award recipient is based on the votes of other teams and presiding judges. The team is coached by J. Branden Bellar with Bellar & Winkler and Jacqueline M. Scott, Attorney at Law, both of Carthage.
Best Advocate for the Prosecution
First Place: Caroline Rodgers, Bearden High School
Second Place: Melissa Temple, KACHEA
Third Place: Magi Higazi, Germantown High School
Best Advocate for the Defense
First Place: Brennan Day with Bearden High School
Second Place: Cat Weiss, Harpeth Hall
Third Place: Aaron Long, McCallie School
Best Witness for the Plaintiff
First Place: Marianne Dodson, Bearden High School
Second Place: Avery Field, Beech High School
Third Place: Lindsey Dunn, Dyersburg High School
Best Witness for the Defense
First Place: McKay Proctor, Montgomery Bell Academy
Second Place: Brandon Lynan, Bearden High School
Third Place: Maddie Bouton, Franklin High School
Team Most Valuable Players
Bearden High School: Brandon Lynan
Beech High School: Avery Field
Chattanooga Southeast Tennessee Home Education Association (CSTHEA): Camille Heartfield
Dyersburg High School: Noah Mulvaney
Franklin High School: Maddie Bouton
Germantown High School: Rachel Dufour
Harpeth Hall: Sarah Abel
Jefferson County High School: Jessie McGaha
Kingsport Area Christian Home Education Association (KACHEA): Phillip Bunn
McCallie School: Aaron Long
Montgomery Bell Academy: McKay Proctor
Smith County High School: Beau Carr
The Webb School: Adam Mansell
Westminster Academy: Amy Hall