July 16, 2013: Breaking News!! 6 pm newscast transcript
Hello, this is reporter Robin Thomas with Utopia Eyewitness News. Decorated Utopia City Police Detective Quinn Penner has just been indicted by the grand jury for the murder of local drug kingpin Orson Hayes. On May 25, 2013, Hayes was gunned down in the alley behind Paradise Pub in Utopia City. At the time of his murder, Hayes was being sought by police for an attempted bank robbery on May 24. A local college student was shot and critically injured during the robbery when Detective Penner attempted to apprehend Hayes.
Orson Hayes’ cousin, Lee Hayes, was an eyewitness to the shooting. According to our sources, Lee Hayes has identified Detective Penner as the murderer. Penner’s indictment is a shock to many because of Penner’s recognition as one of the top detectives in the department. Stay tuned for updates as this story develops.
August 1, 2013: 6 pm newscast transcript
Reporter Robin Thomas here. We have just learned that Utopia Zoo employee Sam Maddox will be testifying on behalf of Detective Quinn Penner in the Orson Hayes murder case. Maddox reportedly witnessed several drug deals conducted by Hayes on the outskirts of the zoo grounds. In fact, one of those encounters involved Taylor Malcolm, the former NBA basketball hopeful who lost his civil lawsuit against Utopia Zoo in 2011 and reportedly turned to dealing drugs soon afterward. I have a special interest in goings-on at Utopia Zoo, so we will stay on top of this intriguing new development.
September 12, 2013: 6 pm newscast transcript
Hello, this is reporter Robin Thomas. We have just learned that the Orson Hayes murder trial has been scheduled for February 1, 2014, a remarkably speedy trial date for such a high-profile case. District Attorney Samuel Ertle has assured WUNN that Penner’s influential family will have no impact on the State’s determination to prosecute this case. Defense attorney Janet W. Craige is equally determined to ensure that Penner is not made a scapegoat. Stay tuned; we at WUNN promise to provide up-to-date coverage of this “trial of the century!”
We at the CCCE are just as excited as reporter “Robin Thomas” about our new 2013-14 mock trial competition case! The original case idea was proposed by Lionel Earl, a former NCAJ mock trial program participant and current 2L at Penn State Law. Lionel wrote our 2010-11 “Utopia Zoo” competition case, which included reporter Robin Thomas, while an undergraduate at UNC. We are so pleased to have Lionel’s continuing support of the program. Co-author Sue Johnson, CCCE Program Coordinator and author of our 2012-13 case, coached the NC team that won the state championship in 2011 (the year of Lionel’s case). Lionel and Sue enjoyed working together on this criminal case and including references to both previous cases. Many thanks to Case Committee Chair Gordon Widenhouse, Sarah Jessica Farber, Michael Koeltzow, Chris Nichols, Katy Parker, and CCCE summer intern Samuel Johnson for their expertise and insights in refining this year’s case.
We look forward to seeing the students try the case on Saturday, February 1, 2014! Information on how to volunteer as a judge, juror, or site volunteer will be posted on our website later in the fall.