LIMA — Jurors deliberated for less than a minute Monday before finding their classmate guilty of stealing a video game.
Justice was swift, and it was all in good fun, as third-grade students from Bath schools staged a mock trial in the courtroom of Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Reed.
The defendant was Kendall Walsh, accused of stealing a Nintendo Super Smash Bros. video game from her classmate, Marissa Tracy. After hearing the evidence in the case, a jury of her peers found Walsh guilty. But visiting judge Germiah Green showed leniency in sentencing, ordering Walsh to an unspecified term of probation.
The exercise was part of an annual field trip made by Bath students to various county government offices. According to teachers at the school, the court visit is always the most popular. Roles had been scripted and rehearsed as attorneys — Kaidyn Garrity for the defense and Layla Gallegos for the prosecution — questioned witness and made their arguments to jurors.
Prior to the mock trial, some of the Bath students witnessed a real-life court hearing, one which ended with a defendant being sentenced to two years in prison for failing to complete a court-ordered treatment program.
Reed, who participated in the mock trial and engaged the students jokingly throughout the events, turned serious for just a moment before dismissing the youngsters.
“Make good decisions. Listen to your parents and teachers. Do what is right, or you’ll be here (in court) as an adult, and it won’t be an April Fools’ joke,” Reed said.