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Saturday, December 15 , 2018, 5:37 pm | Fair 59º


Dos Pueblos High School Mock Trial Team to Compete for State Championship Sunday

The Dos Pueblos High School Mock Trial team on Saturday competed in three trials at the 35th Annual California Mock Trial Finals in Sacramento, and on Sunday will face powerhouse Menlo School for the state championship.

The trial gets under way at 9 a.m.

Saturday’s second trial started off with junior Chloe Glikbarg tackling the prosecution pretrial argument with a convincing argument and skillful answers to tough questions from the judge.

Senior Natasha Lethaby, a prosecution attorney for Dos Pueblos, excelled in this trial with solid objections, fierce arguments and an aggressive stance during cross examinations, making good on her plan to “flex my (her) objection muscles.”

Ainsley Diehl, a prosecution expert witness, also had an exceptional performance with one of the best crosses in the entire second trial, choosing to “out-sass” her crossing attorney with smart responses and expert-like charm.

“I thought it (my cross examination) was probably the best I’ve ever done on cross examination because I got to do a lot of witty statements, and I had a lot of fun coming up with stuff off the top of my head,” she said after the trial.

Before performing in the third trial Saturday, against Centennial High School in Bakersfield, senior team captain and defense attorney Nina Downey reflected on the opportunity.

“I gotta admit, I’m pretty pumped, really excited, and if it’s my last trial in mock trial, which it could be, I just hope it’s a good one,” she said. “I think it will be.”

Jenny Rothman, a senior defense witness, expressed confidence.

“It could be the last trial I perform, so it’s a bittersweet feeling,” she said. “I’m looking forward to us just crushing it.”

This trial brought up a great display of teamwork during an objection battle over inadmissible evidence. All the Dos Pueblos defense attorneys — Nina Downey, Cindy Diaz and Paige Maho — worked together seamlessly to defend their point.

Downey and Rothman also worked as a powerful duo as they led an emotional direct on Casey Barns, a student who allegedly was strangled in the case.

“I think it was a challenging trial, and it was pretty riveting,” Dos Pueblos mock trial coach Susan Epstein said at the end of the case. “There was a lot of drama, and the students performed incredibly well.”

The team won't know any of the scores from from any of the trials until the conclusion of the competition Sunday.

— Damara Lopez-Nelson is a Dos Pueblos High School student and a reporter for The Charger Account. Connect with The Charger Account on Facebook.

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