SM students in regional mock trial competition

Friday, November 19, 2021

St. Mary’s middle school students competed at the regional mock trial competition in Sioux City on Wednesday, November 2. Mock Trial is a program that not only introduces students to the foundations of our legal system but also is an avenue for students to develop skills in public speaking, critical thinking skills, and teamwork. Across Iowa more than 2000 students participate each year. The Iowa State Bar Association released case materials at the start of the school year and practices began not long after as the team prepared both sides of the case. At competition, students presented the case twice: once on the side of the prosecution, and once on the side of the defense. The participants assumed the roles of either a witness or an attorney for each side of the case and competed against another school.

In this year’s case, State of Iowa v Dana Bayless, the prosecution asserted that Dana murdered her business partner, Cora Reichel. Cora had been embezzling funds from the Remy Restaurant to support her gambling debt. Facing the loss of her business, Dana killed Cora to collect the life insurance money. The defense argued that it was Dublin Beard, Cora’s bookie, who ordered the mob hit and locked her in the cooler where she froze to death. A final clue was left as Cora spelled out “DB Killer” with bacon on the freezer floor, but is DB Dana Bayless or Dublin Beard?

All students performed very well and enjoyed the mock trial experience. Several students were recognized by judges for their outstanding performances within the case. The team finished 1-1. Faculty advisor of the team was middle school teacher Ms. Laura Anderson. Special thank you goes out to Mr. Brett Redenbaugh.