Ten St. Patrick Catholic School middle school students were among the 48 team of junior litigators participating in Monday’s annual Middle School Mock Trial Tournament at Franklin Middle School in Des Moines, sponsored by the Iowa State Bar Association.
The St. Pat’s team was composed of eighth graders Betzy Sandavol, Lily Riley, Ella Farmer, Kaylee Wuebker and Sophia McDevitt, seventh graders Luis Sandavol and Mylah Meis and sixth graders Angelica Baez, Hannah Sucher and Maddie McDevitt. They are coached by Darcy Spellman, St. Pat’s middle school social studies and religion teacher.
This was the third year that St. Pat’s has fielded a mock trial team, according to assistant coach AnneMarie McDevitt. The little litigators practiced twice a week and then held two long practice session on consecutive Sundays.
“They all worked really hard for about two months to prepare for this tournament,” McDevitt said. “We don’t have the results yet from the rounds, but they competed really strong and did well.”
This year’s case was a criminal trial for first-degree murder. The case was called State of Iowa v. Coco “Pibb” St. Clair, and the circumstances were loosely based on the play “Hamilton.” Students participated in two trials, first playing roles for the defense and then
representing the prosecutors: the State of Iowa.
Ella Farmer, Lily Riley, Kaylee Wuebker and Betzy Sandovol were the attorneys for the defense, and Sophia McDevitt played the “accused” defendant. Maddie McDevitt and Hannah Sucher took roles as defense witnesses.
In their roles for the prosecution, the attorneys were Sophia McDevitt, Kaylee Wuebker, Luis Sandavol and Lilly Riley. The state called witnesses Angelical Baez, Mylah Meis and Ella Farmer.