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Frio County Judge Rochelle Camacho hosted a number of Pearsall High School students from the English Department in her county courtroom on Wednesday, May 17, coaching them through a series of mock trial exercises in which the teens played the roles of judge, prosecution and defense attorneys, defendant, witnesses and other key figures in the process of a hearing, verdict and sentencing, if applicable. Judge Camacho was assisted in the educational exercise by County Attorney Joseph Sindon, who shared tips with the youths on presentation of evidence and court proceedings; and by Frio County Sheriff’s Lt. Josh Longoria, who served as bailiff. The first of the mock hearings (Photos this page) involved Noah Hernandez as judge, Joclyn Baez as defense attorney, Christian Medina as defendant, Luis Suarez as prosecuting attorney, and Brayan Perales as witness, with his interpreter. Also present were students Ismael Gonzales and Alejandro Perez. Roles were switched for later exercises. The students reported in an interview during the exercise that they felt intimidated by the weight of the responsibility placed on them but that they believed their interest in the leaning experience helped them practice their public speaking and boosted their confidence. All reported that they had gained a greater understanding of the court process.
(CURRENT Photos: Marc Robertson)