Mock trial teams argue assault case hinging on claim of self defense

first_imgHigh school students were tasked Thursday with convincing a jury whether a confrontation over loud music that led to a shooting and left a man in a coma was done in self-defense.The scenario, though certainly plausible, is of course fictional.Students presented the case of “Won’t Back Down,” a felony assault case in which the defendant claimed self-defense, as part of the annual Clark County Mock Trial Tournament.Nine teams from seven schools participated in the two-day tournament, which wrapped up Thursday, at the Clark County Courthouse.Among the participating schools were two teams from Camas High School and Cascadia Technical Academy. Team 2 from both schools went head-to-head Thursday afternoon.Cascadia Tech’s Cameron Achziger, playing a prosecutor, said in his opening statement that defendant Grace Dula shot the victim, John Umber, in cold blood over music he was playing too loudly in his parked car. Dula — played by Camas’ Momina Naushab — lived in a nearby second-story apartment, heard the music and snapped. The two had apparently engaged in a prior altercation.Achziger said Dula grabbed her pistol and confronted Umber. She broke his driver’s side window and pulled Umber from the car. When she started to run away, she stopped, turned and shot him. He remained in a coma at the time of the fictional trial.Achziger argued that Dula “took the law into her own hands,” and the jury should find her guilty of first-degree assault.Camas’ Hayden DeVore told a different story on behalf of his client.He said Dula heard the loud music and decided to confront the offender. She did not realize it was Umber until she went to his car. Dula had armed herself with a pistol, DeVore said, because she lived in a seedy neighborhood.last_img read more

Continue reading