Prior Middle School Mock Trial Cases
Below are summaries of prior middle school mock trial cases. If you would like a copy of any case sent to you electronically, please contact your state Mock Trial coordinator to request the case from SC Bar LRE. A list of state coordinators may be found here.
These cases are for educational use only. If another state would like to adopt and adapt any of these cases, please contact the S.C. Bar Law Related Education Division for permission.
2021 MSMT Case - Criminal
2020 MSMT Case - Civil
2019 MSMT Case - Civil
2018 MSMT Case - Civil
2017 MSMT Case - Civil
2016 MSMT Case - Criminal
2015 MSMT Case - Criminal
2014 MSMT Case - Civil
2013 MSMT Case - Civil
2012 MSMT Case - Civil
2011 MDMT Case - Criminal
2010 MSMT Case - Civil
2009 MSMT Case - Civil
2008 MSMT Case - Criminal
2007 MSMT Case - Civil
2006 MSMT Case - Criminal
2005 MSMT Case - Civil
2004 MSMT Case - Criminal
2003 MSMT Case - Criminal
2002 MSMT Case - Criminal
2021 MSMT Case - Criminal - State of SC v. CJ Lannister
For more than seven years, Ross County South Carolina has suffered at the hands of a careful and methodical arsonist. According to the fire investigators, the Ross County arsonist meticulously set over 94 fires. The arsonist could have been miles away or in the crowds to watch the firefighters rush to the scene. Nearly all the fires were set as slow burns to allow ample time for the arsonist to flee the scene before being identified. These fires destroyed empty structures, rundown abandoned homes, fields, and some athletic facilities.
Kevin Frey was an avid runner in Ross County. He was nationally known for his times in both ultra-marathons and Ironman competitions. Many of his training runs included extensive trail running in the local state park. On the morning of November 4, 2019, Kevin was found dead at the bottom of a steep grade in the Daniel Morgan State Park, near another running trail.
Following suspicions that his death was not an accident, an inventory was made of Frey’s home. Sheriff’s investigators found ample evidence demonstrating Kevin Frey had been conducting an amateur investigation of the Ross County Arsons. The results of this amateur investigation provided enough evidence to arrest CJ Lannister for the fires.
In addition to the arsons, CJ Lannister has been charged with the death of Kevin Frey. Lannister admitted to the arsons, and pled Guilty But Mentally Ill (GBMI). Lannister pled not guilty to the murder of Kevin Frey.
2020 MSMT Case - Civil - Stark v, Springs Park, Inc.
Wade Stark was one of many at Springs Park on Saturday, April 20, 2019. Wade was part of a group celebrating at a victory party after winning a soccer tournament earlier that morning. During a round of dodgeball on the trampolines, Wade fell and broke his neck. Wade died from the neck injury. Although Wade’s parent, Corey Stark, signed a waiver, the family brought suit against Springs Park for wrongful death and survivorship. Owner Sidney Wilson and Springs Park deny all wrongdoing and liability.
2019 MSMT Case - Civil - Mosley v. Rockie's Food Corporation
This year’s case was inspired by the events related to Liebeck vs. McDonald’s. Although there are some similarities to the famous case, the facts are significantly altered. As with any Mock Trial case based on true events, it is important to remember that you are limited to the facts presented in these case materials. This exercise is designed to teach you to not get distracted by the hype on the internet or swayed by the rhetoric of the media when you consider the true facts of a civil dispute brought to our courts. Civil cases are about real people – whether they are just trying to sell a cup of coffee or trying to buy a cup of coffee. And while history and the court of public opinion will always pass their own judgments, in this court, with this case, the parties will have their day and the jury will render its judgment.
2018 MSMT Case - Civil - Gray v. Blume Development Corporation
In December 2016, Plaintiff Gray Fields and son Charlie Fields relocated to South Carolina. Twelve-year-old Charlie was struggling to fit in at school and in his new neighborhood especially after relocating after the loss of a parent. As the school year finally came to a close, Charlie made friends and was engaged in more activities.
Charlie’s neighborhood was built around a granite quarry. While the granite quarry was surrounded with a fence and “No Trespassing” signs, the kids in the neighborhood found a way in to enjoy the quarry filled with water especially on those hot days. With school out only a few days, several kids trespassed to the quarry lake to go swimming. Charlie was witnessed jumping off of a rope swing and never emerging from the jump. Charlie was found by one of the local kids. He hit his head on a subsurface rock ledge approximately five feet below the surface of the water. Charlie’s drowning was associated with a concussion, fractured skull, and a broken neck.
2017 MSMT Case - Civil - Landry Lamar v Bobbie's Burgers LLC
In May 2016, Plaintiff Landry Lamar was a senior at Glendale High School in Windsor, East Carolina. Landry was working part-time at Bobbie’s Burgers, known as “BB’s,” to save money for college. Landry planned to enroll in UEC (University of East Carolina) Honor’s College program the following autumn. On Thursday, May 5, 2016, Landry saw co-worker Sloan Spencer attempting to steal money from the “Salute the Generals” donation jar, or so Landry thought. The “Glendale Generals Boosters” is a well-known and well-funded charitable partnership between BB’s and the Glendale High School Booster Club to support student sports. Landry believes s/he saw Spencer remove money from the “Salute the Generals” jar and put some money both in Sloan Spencer’s pocket and in the restaurant’s cash register till. The next day, Landry promptly reported the matter to Bobbie Garmon, BB’s owner, who became angry.
On Friday, May 6, 2016, Landry clocked out and closed BB’s early because it was a slow night. As a result, Bobbie was unable to host a “sportsmanship summit,” a longtime tradition, following a major sports game. Bobbie then terminated Landry’s employment with BB’s on Saturday, May 7, 2016.
Landry has sued Bobbie’s Burgers for unlawful “whistleblower” retaliation under East Carolina law.
2016 MSMT Case - Criminal - SC v Langley Parker
Langley Parker is a director of web-based reality films. During the spring and summer of 2015, Parker and his/her crew envisioned, constructed, and filmed a series of scenarios that the Director titled “Fear Springs Eternal” in and around downtown Crowson, South Carolina. All of the videos involved actors engaging with unsuspecting residents. Police were frequently called to investigate.
In one such video piece, a “Zombie Chase,” Terry Weaver fell and severely injured an ankle. Weaver and his/her mother, Jackie Weaver, were contemplating civil legal action against Parker and Parker’s film company.
On July 7, 2015, Terry Weaver and Jackie Weaver arrived to meet with Parker in Parker’s office at 405 Laurel Street in downtown Crowson to discuss a possible settlement. When they got to the building, they found that one bank of elevators was out of service, but an auxiliary elevator was available to take them to the third floor and to Parker’s office.
The elevator appeared to move and shake. The light went out, and a ghostly figure appeared in the elevator. Terry Weaver was frightened, screamed, and moved to protect his/her mother. Jackie Weaver almost immediately dropped to the ground – dead of a heart attack.
Police investigation revealed that the “elevator” was in fact another scenario produced by Parker and Parker’s crew. Langley Parker was taken into custody and charged with Involuntary Manslaughter in the death of Jackie Weaver.
2015 MSMT Case – Civil – Skyler Reed v. 104.4 WSCB, Inc. and Cameron Jackson
Radio station 104.4 WSCB was presented with an extraordinary opportunity to host the 2015 Music in the Sand three-day festival. For the festival, DJ Cameron Jackson known as “DJ CJ” flew a drone with a camera to capture the fun festivities happening in the crowd and on the stage. The main act for the Fourth of the July concert was Raven – winner of the reality music show “American Rockstar.” During Raven’s opening performance, DJ CJ received several emergency phone calls and was forced to step away from piloting the drone. Unfortunately, at the same time, Skyler Reed, an innocent fan, fell from a trash can and suffered injuries. Skyler alleges the fall was the result of the drone, but other evidence suggests the fall may be due to other causes.
2014 MSMT Case - Criminal - State of New Harmony v. Charlie Spencer
Sometime during the night of August 8, 2013, the “Leeway,” a lobster fishing boat registered in the name of Brook Bentley, sunk while docked at the marina in Spencer Harbor. When the boat was pulled out of the water and examined, a symmetrical hole was visible in the boat, which raised the suspicion that someone intentionally sabotaged the boat. The boat, hauling system, and motor cannot be salvaged and the cost to replace them was in excess of $7,000.00. During DNR Marine Patrol Agent Chris London’s investigation, it was determined the hole was drilled and was 7/8th inch in diameter. Following up on an accusation, Agent London searched the boat of commercial lobster fisherman Charlie Spencer and found a battery-operated electric drill in the cabin. Agent London then inspected Spencer’s traps stacked on the dock next to the boat. After having found nothing, Agent London noticed Spencer’s truck parked nearby and decided to take a closer look. In the bed of the truck under a tarp, Agent London found a 7/8th inch butterfly spade drill bit and confirmed that it was the same size as the hole drilled in Bentley’s boat.
On August 17, 2013, Agent London arrested Charlie Spencer for sinking Brook Bentley’s boat on or about the night of August 8, 2013, and charged Spencer with malicious injury to personal property under the State of New Harmony Criminal Code. Spencer was also charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, for hitting Brook Bentley in the nose during a confrontation between the two that occurred earlier the same day on the pier at Spencer Harbor. The fight was witnessed by Charlie Spencerʼs sternman, Parker Watson, and Capeside High School Vice Principal, Dee Preston.
Sally, a female West Highland Terrier, was purchased in October 2010, from a breeder in Chestnut Hill, Virginia, by Sidney Curie. After one year, Curie had successfully shown Sally in local, state, and regional dog shows. As a two-year old, Sally earned the nation’s most coveted award, Best in Show, at the prestigious American Accredited Breed Dog Show. Shortly afterward, Curie observed some minor discomfort in Sally, which Curie initially thought to be anxiety related. Upon closer examination, Curie determined Sally was reacting to a minor flea irritation. Curie’s first course of action was to apply Bright Blue Shampoo, a flea shampoo manufactured by Petzicon Products, Inc. Sally experienced no noticeable relief. Curie’s second course of action was immediately to apply FleaX, a topical flea treatment also manufactured by Petzicon Products, Inc. Following the treatment, Sally began exhibiting neurological problems, the loss of function of her rear legs, and disorientation. The following day, Sally was examined by a veterinarian and remained at the clinic for intensive care for an “apparent toxic event.” Two days following Sally’s admission to the clinic, she died.
The Plaintiff has instituted a civil action and alleges liability on the part of the Defendant, Petzicon Products, Inc. for the manufacture and sale of FleaX, an “unreasonably dangerous product.” The Plaintiff further alleges to have suffered damages as a result of the death of the dog.
The Defense denies any responsibility for the allegations stated in the complaint. The Defendant also alleges that, if the dog's death was related to the use of its product, it was caused by the Plaintiff's improper application of the flea treatment.
2012 MSMT Case - Civil - Jess McGee v. Kasey Moore
This is a negligence action that arises out of an automobile accident that resulted in the death of Pete the bull, a prized bull owned by Plaintiff Jess McGee. On the morning of March 23, 2011, Pete got loose from his pasture and wandered on to State Road 377. At around the same time, Defendant Kasey Moore was driving a minivan on the same road. Kasey crested a hill and saw a vehicle stopped in front of him that was being operated by Mel Hinnant. Unable to stop in time, Kasey struck the rear of Mel’s vehicle. Mel alleges that this impact forced his/her vehicle into Pete the bull, breaking all of Pete’s legs. Kasey alleges that Mel struck the bull before Kasey ran into the back of Mel’s vehicle.
Jess McGee is suing Kasey for the loss of Pete the bull. Kasey denies negligence, claims that the accident was unavoidable, and is suing Jess for the damage caused to Kasey’s car. Kasey claims that Jess was negligent in allowing his bull to escape from his pasture.
2011 MSMT Case - CriminalState of South Carolina v. Drew DeLaney
Coach Drew DeLaney is a successful and well known track coach for Southern Carolina High School. DeLaney pushes hard, but did s/he push too hard on August 5, 2010, one of the hottest days of the year? On that day London Abbot, one of the runners on the top relay team, collapsed while running suicide sprints. London did not recover from the collapse and later died at the hospital. The State believes that Coach Drew DeLaney is guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter as a result of the hard practice and allegedly denying the runner’s fluids (water) during practice. The Prosecution and Defense have experts that interpret the cause of London’s collapse and death differently.
2010 MSMT Case - Civil - Mary Foster (as Personal Representative of the Estate of Tom Foster) v. Frankie Taylor, Individually and d/b/a Jumbo Amusement Park
For decades, millions of vacationers have flocked to an out-of-the-way place on the coast of South Carolina known as Myrtle Beach, popularly known as the “Grand Strand.” Like other places along the winding coast of the Atlantic Ocean, Myrtle Beach has its stories. Stories of pirates, sunken ships, drowned merchants, and others including ill-fated women and children haunting the beach lend an air of mystery that simultaneously brings both fear and attraction.
During the post-World War II period of prosperity, Myrtle Beach was beginning to grow. Civic leaders realized that after the war, people would have more time and money for vacationing, so it seemed their best opportunity would come from developing the area as a tourist town.
Of course, a tourist town would be nothing without attractions for children and young people. One of the first businesses to take advantage of the vacation potential on the Grand Strand was the amusement park opened by Ronnie Taylor. His “Jumbo Amusement Park” was state of the art when it opened in 1946. The crowning glory of the park was The Flying Tiger. It was the largest wooden roller coaster in the country at the time, towering to 90 feet at the top of the tallest drop.
Thousands of people came - many to ride this fabled roller coaster. Among these visitors was a young couple, Drew and Ashley Cooper. Drew and Ashley were married in October 1976 and went to Myrtle Beach for their honeymoon. While they were at Myrtle Beach, they visited the Jumbo Amusement Park. Although scared of roller coasters, Ashley gave into cajoling and braved The Flying Tiger. Something went horribly wrong during the ride and Ashley was thrown from the roller coaster. Ashley plummeted to the ground and died.
Drew never left Myrtle Beach after Ashley’s death. In the weeks and months that followed, Drew was unable to deal with the sorrow of returning to the place they wanted to make their home, so Drew stayed in Myrtle Beach. October 31, 1977, the anniversary of Ashley’s death, was a solemn day. Drew spent the day wandering aimlessly up and down the golden beach. Late that night, however, Drew felt an urge to visit the park even though it was closed. Drew arrived at the spot where Ashley had fallen. In what seemed like a surreal moment, Drew looked up at the roller coaster. At the top of the roller coaster, Drew saw Ashley. Drew heard Ashley say, “I love you. Stay with me always.” And then Ashley was gone. Trying to make sense of the moment, Drew climbed to the spot where Ashley appeared, but there was no one there.
Drew took Ashley’s words to heart. The following day, Drew applied for a job at the Jumbo Amusement Park. Drew worked at the park for many years first in the snack shop and eventually as a security guard. Legends and stories often have lives of their own. And this one continued to grow because Drew never missed the opportunity to tell locals and visitors alike of the visions of Ashley. At midnight every Halloween, Drew would wait for Ashley at that same place at the park.
As years passed, generations came and went. The quiet, gentle beach Drew had come to know had turned into a fast-paced tourist attraction. As new people and attractions moved into the beach, things began to change. Ronnie Taylor owned the park for fifty-five years until his death in 2001. In the mid¬1990s as Ronnie’s health deteriorated, he turned the park management over to his only child, Frankie Taylor. Frankie tried various ways to stir interest in the park, but with little success. The public’s tastes moved away from the ocean front toward Broadway at the Beach. Faced with stiff competition and falling revenues, Frankie decided that the 2007 tourist season would be the park’s last. Jumbo Amusement Park closed on October 31, 2007.
A demolition crew was contracted to dismantle the park so that the oceanfront land could be developed. The dismantling of the park was scheduled to take about twelve months as Frankie tried to sell as much of the equipment as possible to other businesses. The Flying Tiger would be the last of the rides to be dismantled.
Sometime around midnight October 31, 2008, a teenager named Tom Foster died. His mother is now suing Jumbo Amusement Park, claiming that Tom’s death resulted from a fall from The Flying Tiger roller coaster. Ms. Foster alleges that Jumbo Amusement Park owner, Frankie Taylor, knew of the practice of local high school students sneaking into the park to walk the roller coaster in an attempt to see “Ashley’s Ghost” and had failed to adequately secure the facility.
2009 MSMT Case - Civil - Drew Gardener v. Taylor James
The high school rivalry between Jamestown and Golden Valley has existed for forty years. The two York County high schools have ended their regular football season each year competing against each other. The rivalry has been a source of hometown pride and bragging rights for the two schools. The 2006 game was rather unique. For the first time in the series, both teams entered the contest with an unbeaten 9-0 record. School spirit was at an all-time high.
The victim, Drew Gardener, a local journalist and sibling of the late local football legend “Good as Golden” Gordon Gardener (also known as the Golden Retriever), wrote an article memorializing the 1966 contest between the two schools. In that first game the Golden Retriever set several state records that still stand today and led the Golden Valley Nuggets to a 35-0 victory over the Jamestown Jackals. Drew Gardener purchased a1966 Ford Shelby Cobra to commemorate the inaugural 1966 competition as well as to honor the memory of Gordon’s achievements. Enthusiasm and excitement continued to build leading up to Saturday’s match-up between the two teams. Unfortunately, school spirit and enthusiasm may have been carried too far. On October 13, 2006, the Friday evening before the Saturday night showdown, Drew Gardener’s residence was vandalized by what appeared to be a teen prank gone wrong. Sheriff Downs, who was running for re-election, investigated the vandalism. Not satisfied with the Sheriff’s investigation, Drew Gardener investigated the crime as well. The investigation led to the questioning of Taylor James, a high school student at Jamestown High School.
2008 MSMT Case - Criminal - State of South Carolina v. Kinsley Williams
Jamie Anderson is a senior at Winston High School, a boarding school, in York County, South Carolina. Jamie Anderson and Casey Wallner are roommates in Bedford Hall, one of the co-ed upper class dorms on campus. Casey’s testimony generally corroborates Jamie’s testimony.
The school sponsors a chat room / message board for the students and faculty. The chat room discussions range from class discussions to social dialogs. Students signed up for the chat room during class registration. As a safety issue, each student must read and accept the chat room policies. One of the safety precautions is the use of a red panic button. The red panic button gives the user the opportunity to send a complaint or report a problem in the chat room to an administrator. All user information is kept anonymous -- only the screen names with log-in and log-off times are shown.
Jamie and the roommate began noticing postings to the chat discussion that referenced Jamie’s nickname “JAM” or “Jammin.” These messages got darker and more disturbing over time. Jamie began having trouble sleeping and leaving the dorm room. Jamie was so scared, Casey had to follow along for support. At times, Jamie would not go out at all.
Jamie went to the police after an anonymous e-mail on October 8, 2007, that read, “Don’t walk alone at night. That is me behind you. You could be sorry. You could be dead.” Detective Ashton Hopp responded to the case. The detective, along with computer personnel of the school, looked over the chat room files and the e-mail. During the investigation, Detective Hopp advised Jamie and Casey to continue using the chat room. The disturbing chats continued. Kinsley Williams was arrested for cyber stalking on October 16th.
Kinsley Williams admits to writing two of the implicated messages. Kinsley denies sending the other messages and, in fact, blames unnamed other individuals who might have used Kinsley’s chat accounts. Blain Albert, a computer sciences teacher, and Pat Clifford, the school’s webmaster, support Kinsley.
2007 MSMT Case - Civil - JB White v. NuTek Phones
J.B. White is a senior at Sandhill High School in Sandhill, South Carolina. J.B. is the only child of Dr. Randy White. J.B. is a normal teenager who participates in
extracurricular activities and has lots of friends. About a year ago, J.B. began pursuing his/her dream of modeling. J.B. had not had any real jobs, but s/he had appeared in advertisements for a local charity event. Even though these were not paid appearances, J.B. thought the exposure would be helpful and considered it a way to give back to the community. J.B. has always had high aspirations, planning to attend the prestigious University of Sandhill School of Music and to major in vocal music. Upon graduation, J.B. hoped to teach music at a high school. J.B. seemed well on the way to success when tragedy struck.
Dr. White bought J.B. a new mobile phone. The phone was called the NuTek Lemon. The phone was designed, produced, manufactured, and sold by NuTek Phones. The phone was the latest technology in mobile phones. It was cutting edge because it was lighter than many other mobile phones, and it used a new battery that never had to be recharged. NuTek Phones promoted the phone as a way for parents to keep their teenagers safe. J.B. loved the new phone and, like many Sandhill High students, carried it everywhere. J.B. was particularly excited by the new phone because Jordan Jones had one just like it. Jordan had been J.B.'s best friend since they were toddlers. On Friday, August 18, 2006, J.B. came home from school, ate dinner, and went to take a shower before going to the bowling alley to meet some friends. Dr. White was gone for the evening. Earlier, Jordan told J.B. that s/he would call J.B. before leaving for the bowling alley. Not wanting to miss the call, J.B. took the phone to the bathroom and placed it on a shelf beside the shower. If Jordan called, J.B. wanted to be sure to hear the phone. While in the shower, J.B. heard the phone ring and answered it. As anticipated, it was Jordan calling. J.B. and Jordan talked briefly, and then something terrible happened. J.B. heard a pop and then felt a great pain in his/her right ear and on the right side of his/her face. J.B. dropped the phone in the tub, grabbed his/her head, and jumped. Dazed, J.B. sat on the bathroom floor until s/he heard Jordan. Concerned that the phone went dead, Jordan rushed next door to J.B.'s house. The front door was not locked. Jordan went in and ran to the bathroom. Upon opening the door, Jordan saw J.B. sitting on the bathroom floor wrapped in a towel, holding the right side of his/her face. The shower was still on. Jordan called 9-1-1 after seeing J.B.'s injury.
Paramedic Greenberg responded to the 9-1-1 call. Greenberg arrived at J.B.'s home within ten minutes of the call. Greenberg found J.B. sitting on the edge of the tub in a robe and holding a wash cloth to his/her face. Greenberg treated J.B. and asked what had occurred. J.B. told Greenberg that the phone had shocked him/her. Greenberg took J.B. and the phone to the hospital. At the emergency room, it was confirmed that J.B. suffered an electrical burn to the face. Worse, J.B. could not hear out of the right ear. Dr. Kerry Belk, the attending physician, predicted that J.B.'s hearing might never improve. Dr. Belk also recommended plastic surgery. Dr. Belk treated J.B.'s burn. J.B. was then released.
J.B. does not recall a warning label on the phone. The phone is missing. The instruction manual and box in which the phone was packaged were inadvertently destroyed long before the accident. J.B. thought that it would be safe to use the phone in the shower because s/he had used it in the rain before. J.B. claims that s/he has been robbed of a career in music because of the loss of hearing in the right ear. J.B. fears any modeling career is now gone after undergoing two plastic surgeries. J.B. is taking medications for depression. Now, J.B. wants to be compensated for loss of potential income.
2006 MSMT Case - Civil - Sam Parker v. C.J. Calhoun
On May 30, 2005, Sam Parker was working as a pizza delivery boy/girl for the Main Street Cafe in downtown Abbeville, South Carolina. At 10:20 pm, a delivery order was placed, and Sam set out on his bike to make the delivery. Many storms had passed through Abbeville that evening, and the delivery presented Sam an opportunity to make a large tip. After the delivery, Sam rode back to the Main Street Cafe. Sam decided to shorten the ride by cutting through the Court Square and biking straight to the Main Street Cafe. However, while biking back to the Cafe, Sam was involved in an accident with the new Carolina Idol, C.J. Calhoun, and both parties were injured. C.J. Calhoun, a native of Abbeville, had just won on a popular TV show. He/she returned to Abbeville to give a surprise performance to all his/her supportive hometown fans at the downtown Opera House. After entertaining all of his fans, C.J. Calhoun was heading towards the hotel when he/she collided with Sam Parkers bicycle and ran his/her BMW into the Court Square flagpole. The town Sheriff appeared on the scene and completed the accident report. However, at the present time, the Sheriff is out of the country and unable to comment on the case. There are several witnesses to the accident, but it is unclear who is to blame for the accident and injuries. It will be only through the trial of this case that both sides will try to understand what happened between Sam Parker and C.J. Calhoun on the night of May 30, 2005, and who is at fault.
2005 MSMT Case - Civil - Kelly Wilkins, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Adam Wilkins, deceased, Plaintiff v. Cam Cunningham, Individually, and doing business as Cunningham's Natural Food and Nutrition, Defendant
On August 1, 2004, Kelly Wilkins received an emergency call at work. Kelly's teenage son, Adam, had been transported from his home to Pine Valley Community Hospital. By the time Kelly arrived at the hospital, Adam was dead. His death was ruled a suicide. Adam had just finished the eighth grade at Pine Valley Middle School. He was a straight-A student. He was very popular at school with his teachers and fellow students. He participated in many extracurricular activities, including several sports. Adam excelled in baseball, basketball, and soccer, but his favorite sport was football. He was scheduled to attend camp for JV football at Pine Valley High School the next week. Adam was only fourteen years old when he died. What would cause a person like Adam to take his own life? It will be through the trial of this case that we try to find the answer to this troubling question.
2004 MSMT Case - Criminal - State of South Carolina v. Dale Peake
Briarcliffe is a small town in South Carolina that includes a subdivision named after the town. The Briarcliffe community used to be populated with an older generation and in recent years has grown into a younger community requiring the addition of new schools. Dale Peake, the Defendant, was known to call the police over the last year to report various incidents of vandalism, prank calls, ringing doorbells, stolen newspapers, etc. Frustrated with those incidents, the Defendant purchased a rare dog--a Lupohound as a guard dog. The Defendant named the dog Zeus. Zeus and the Defendant went through an intensive four-week training program before the dog was released to its new owner, Peake. On March 12, 2004, some kids were playing in the neighborhood with a tennis ball that hit the defendant's home. The Defendant's dog attacked one of the children that was playing with the tennis ball. Witnesses report that the dog attacked the victim, Brian Hamilton, and was called off of the child with a single word command spoken by the Defendant. Brian Hamilton later died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. At present, the defendant's guard dog is being retained at the county pound with the aid of Maligned Animal's Defense Committee and Affiliated Pet-owners (MADCAP), an animal activist group, that got an injunction to hold off putting the dog to sleep. The Defendant, Dale Peake, has been charged with murder and possession of a dangerous animal.
2003 MSMT Case - Criminal - State of South Carolina v. Tracy Johnson
Coastal Middle School is a small school in a little town twenty miles outside of Palmetto City where the crime rate is considered very low.
In March 2003, third quarter grades for Coastal Middle School were about to come out. It was at this time that the school's computer lab, or "bungalow" was broken into and vandalized. The vandalism consisted of a broken window, smashed computers, and red paint sprayed on the computers and the walls. It was later discovered that the school computer that stored the students' grades, also located in the bungalow, had been accessed. The grades of three students had been changed on the same day that the vandalism occurred.
Several students had reported that Kelly Stone, the computer teacher at Coastal Middle School, was a hard teacher. Tracy Johnson, one of Stone's students learned that s/he would be getting a "B" in Stone's computer class. This would be Tracy's first "B." Tracy was very upset because Tracy's parent insisted on a straight "A" report card every quarter. Tracy was known for being impatient with other students' lack of knowledge in computers and was vocal about those feelings. Tracy Johnson had also been heard calling Kelly Stone a jerk.
Tracy Johnson became a suspect of the school vandalism when it was discovered that one of the grades changed was Tracy's. Detective Marty Lane was called in to investigate the vandalism. Detective Lane identified Tracy as the likely culprit when a flashlight marked with Tracy's initials had indications of red paint debris similar to the paint used to write graffiti found in the bungalow. Further incriminating evidence was found in Tracy's locker. Tracy indicates that s/he has an alibi that can be corroborated by Tracy's parent and Bailey Martin, a friend, both of whom had personal knowledge that Tracy was home studying the night of the break in. The friend is now in Europe studying abroad. A witness, Leslie Richardson, reported seeing two people leaving the school grounds at the time of the incident. Tracy was arrested and was charged with second-degree burglary, second-degree computer crime, and a misdemeanor for entering a public building for purpose of destroying records or other property.
2002 MSMT Case - Criminal - State of South Carolina v. Toni(y) Hampton
Raven Valley High School was well known for their championship soccer team. It seemed that they were invincible and no other team could beat them. They had taken the state title for the last 5 years and 2001 seemed no different. They were playing better than ever and most of the wins were due to the two â€œstarâ€ players; Randi(y) Aiken and Toni(y) Hampton. Randi(y) and Toni(y) were highly competitive both against opponents and with each other. Sometimes that competitiveness spilled over to off the field activities.
In January 2001, the soccer team of Raven Valley High School was staying at the beach for four days while participating in the state tournament. Three students, Randi(y) Aiken, Toni(y) Hampton and Kelly(ey) Greenwood shared a hotel room. On January 25, 2001, the first evening of the trip, Officer Lee Beaufort, the school resource officer traveling with the team, entered the students' hotel room. Upon entering the room, Officer Beaufort found all three students present. Toni(y) was holding a plastic bag containing a green leafy substance and a package of cigarette rolling papers. Both Randi(y) and Kelly(ey) were holding what appeared to be lighted marijuana cigarettes. Officer Beaufort looked at the weed in Toni(y)'s hand, and asked, "Is that marijuana?" Randi(y) admitted it was.
All three were arrested. Randi(y) and Kelly(ey) were charged with possession of marijuana, but since Toni(y) was holding more of the drug, s/he was charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute, a much more serious offense. Kelly(ey) pled guilty to Simple Possession and was ordered to pay a fine. Also, Kelly(ey) was expelled from school. Randi(y) entered into a plea agreement; however, his/her charges were dismissed in exchange for his/her testimony against Toni(y). Randi(y) was not expelled from school. Toni(y) has pled not guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute and is now on trial.