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Monday, February 18 , 2019, 8:58 am | Fair 48º


Dos Pueblos High’s Mock Trial Team Wins World Championship at New York Finals

Students flying back to Goleta after Monday's victory in the Empire World Invitational Championship

The championship trophy is presented to the Dos Pueblos High School Mock Trial team Monday at the Empire World Invitational Championship.
The championship trophy is presented to the Dos Pueblos High School Mock Trial team Monday at the Empire World Invitational Championship.  (Empire Mock Trial photo)

The Dos Pueblos High School Mock Trial team defeated Wyoming Seminary Prep from Pennsylvania Monday morning to capture the Empire World Invitational Championship, considered the most prestigious high school mock trial invitational tournament held at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse in New York.

The Chargers, who had lost a narrow 4-3 decision in the 2012 Empire Finals and had finished 4th in 2013, were led by senior captains Maggie Miller and Nina Downey. Miller was named one of the tournament’s most outstanding attorneys and Downey was named most outstanding witness.

Scroll down to watch the winner announced at Monday's competition.

The Chargers blitzed to the final round earning 11 out of 12 possible ballots in their four rounds before the finals.

The team and coaches will arrive back in Santa Barbara at 9 p.m. Monday at the Santa Barbara Airport. 

The Dos Pueblos team had worked since mid-July on the case, a civil rights action.

In the fictional case, a white police officer shoots an unarmed black teenager. The plaintiffs are the parents of the young boy who is shot.

They allege that the police department has a policy and practice of police violence, and that those policies and practices were the cause of their son’s life-threatening injuries.

The Dos Pueblos High School Mock Trial team was victorious Monday at the Empire World Invitational Championship. Click to view larger
The Dos Pueblos High School Mock Trial team was victorious Monday at the Empire World Invitational Championship.  (Dos Pueblos High School photo)

The defendant police department alleges that the officer shot in self-defense when the boy reached for some shiny object at his waist, which turned out to be a cell phone. 

The Dos Pueblos team was assisted in their preparations by members of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department to understand the collection and analysis of forensic evidence and the way peace officers are trained in the use of firearms.

Santa Barbara Police Chief Cam Sanchez met with the student who portrayed the fictional police chief on the witness stand in New York.

Santa Barbara judges and court personnel donated their time and facilities to help the team practice. We live in a special town that supports our youth.

The Empire Dos Pueblos Mock Trial team includes students Nina Downey and Maggie Miller, captains; Mario Aguirre, Ryan Daniel, Cindy Diaz, Nina Downey, Rebecca, Alexandra Gonzalez Edgar, Aidan Haggerty, Jenny Jang, Natasha Lethaby, Lola Macy, Jennie Rezek, Jenny Rothman, Michael Wallis and Shaoni White.

Kelly Savio is the teacher coach. The attorney coaches are Deedrea Edgar, Joel Block and Maureen Grattan.

"I can tell you that we could not be happier to see all of our hard work pay off with this win," said Savio, an English and journalism teacher at Dos Pueblos. 

"The competition at Empire is quite literally the toughest in the world. Teams from countries all over the globe apply to compete at this prestigious event, and they all bring their A-game. Our students spent their summer preparing for this case, and they've given up weekends, Skyped into practice when they were out of town, and juggled their heavy loads of school work with a very demanding practice schedule." 

The victory was celebrated by the entire community Monday, she said. 

"The other coaches and I are so proud of these wonderful, dedicated students, and we were all very proud to represent DP on an international stage. The news just broke this afternoon, but I've already been flooded with congratulatory messages via email, social media, and by phone. It's yet another fabulous reminder of how supportive our community is of our team and school." 

— Bill Woodard is an assistant principal at Dos Pueblos High School and a former faculty adviser for its Mock Trial team.

Empire (@EmpireMockTrial) Twitter from Noozhawk on Vimeo.

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