Pro/Con List Worksheet—Page
Mock Trial Roles—Page 24
Mini-Mock Trial Manual: Mock Trial Procedures—Pages 25-27 (large
manual available for viewing or download in PDF)
definition of first degree murder is causing the death of another person
with either the intent or knowledge that the conduct will cause death and
with premeditation. Premeditation is often described as 'malice
aforethought,' which basically means that you probably considered the
consequence of your conduct for at least a second before you committed the
definition of first degree murder is causing the death of another person
while committing or attempting to commit another crime like sexual conduct
with a minor, sexual assault, molestation of a child, various drug-related
crimes, kidnapping, burglary, arson, robbery, escape from jail, child abuse,
or unlawful flight from a pursuing law enforcement vehicle, or while fleeing
from the scene where you committed any of these offenses.
definition of first degree murder is causing the death of a law enforcement
officer in the line of duty while intending or knowing that the conduct will
cause the officer's death.
Any kind of
first degree murder is a class 1 felony and is punishable by life
imprisonment [in the State of Illinois].
(recorded during initial investigations by homicide detective Yusuf Elhaj,
TRANSCRIPT #5—OFFICER J. MARTINEZ, CHICAGO POLICE DEPT.,
May 1, 2003
Martinez was questioned by an investigator from the prosecutor’s office.)
Officer Martinez, you arrested Mateo Lopez on April 28. Can you describe
the arrest and what he was charged with?
approximately 2:46 pm on April 29, I pulled over a dark Chevy Impala,
license plates D 328 977. The driver was swerving over the center line on
Ashland Ave. and endangering other drivers. I put my lights on and the
driver pulled over at the next available side street. I approached the
driver, requested his license and registration.
you describe the driver?
He was a
Hispanic man in his early thirties. He was wearing dark sunglasses, and
when I asked him to remove them, I noticed his eyes were bloodshot and
glassy. His name was Mateo Lopez. I ran a check on his license. He had no
moving violations or parking violations within the last five years. He had
a violation for speeding in 1995. Because I had pulled him over for
reckless driving, I asked him to step out of the car. I asked him to
perform several menial tasks to check for his coordination. He was unable
to perform them satisfactorily. It was obvious he had been drinking, but he
denied being on any other drug. A second police officer, Officer London,
drove by and stopped to see if I needed any assistance. London searched
Lopez’s car and found $300 in the glove compartment. No open bottles or
cans were found in the car. However, since Lopez had failed the
coordination tests, I arrested him on a DUI and impounded his vehicle.
you brought Mr. Lopez into your precinct and gave him a breathalyzer test,
what were the results?
blood alcohol level registered at .18, 1 point above the legal driving
TRANSCRIPT #6—OFFICER S. LONDON, CHICAGO POLICE DEPT., May
London was questioned by an investigator from the prosecutor’s office.)
Officer London, you searched Mr. Lopez’s vehicle after Officer Martinez
pulled him over for a DUI. What did you find?
I found $300
in cash in his glove compartment.
you ask Mr. Lopez where the money was from?
Yes, and he
said he had just cashed a paycheck. However, when I asked him where he had
cashed it, he couldn’t remember.
Mr. Lopez was booked on the DUI charge, you also discovered that police
wanted to question him in connection with the murder of Reginald Carver and
the robbery of the 7-Eleven at _______ 55th Street. What did you
immediately brought Lopez’s arrest to the attention of the detective on the
murder case and secured a search warrant for Lopez’s house. My partner and
I went over to Lopez’s house to conduct the search. There we discovered the
paycheck for $323.28 Lopez claimed to have cashed when he was arrested. We
also found a .45 caliber handgun in Lopez’s bedroom closet. We took those
items as police evidence in the homicide case. Upon returning to the
precinct, we charged Mateo Lopez with armed robbery and the murder of
TRANSCRIPT #7—MARIANA RIVERA, BARTENDER, EL RANCHO, May 3,
was questioned by an investigator from the prosecutor’s office.)
Rivera, where were you the night of April 27?
working, at El Rancho. I was working at the bar that night.
Q: Do you
know Mateo Lopez?
I know a
customer named Mateo, though people around the bar just call him “Teo.” He
comes in pretty regularly. Has a girlfriend or something… Luci I think is
you see Mr. Lopez at the bar on the night of April 27?
Yeah, he was
there, and somewhat drunk. Kept swearing into his drink and ordering more.
He didn’t seem that drunk so I wasn’t about to stop bringing him rounds.
Then his girl took off. He left soon after that.
many beers did he have?
don’t know. If I had to count, I served him maybe 3-4 beers, but I don’t
remember. Don’t know if the other bartender gave him anything either.
Q: Do you
remember what Mr. Lopez was wearing that night?
No, no way.
Lots of guys come in there and it’s dark. Teo might as well be just another
face in the crowd most of the time, you know? But… well, I’m pretty sure he
was wearing a watch, a nice watch. Only reason I remember that is because
his woman screamed at him to stop letting it slop in a puddle of spilled
beer on the counter. She’s a little wacky, if you ask me.
TRANSCRIPT #8—DR. ALICE TAM, M.D., CORONER, May 4, 2003
Tam, you are a coroner for the City of Chicago, correct?
Yes, that is
examined the body of Reginald Carver on April 28, 2003, correct?
you explain your findings?
had died from two bullet wounds to the chest. One bullet entered just above
the heart and grazed the right upper ventricle of the heart. The second
bullet entered approximately 3” to the right and 1” down from the first;
this bullet punctured the victim’s left lung. Based upon the way the skin
around the wounds is singed and the condition of the exit wounds, I estimate
that the shooter was between 7’-10’ away from the victim when s/he fired the
you determine how long it took for Mr. Carver to die?
estimation puts his death within 5 minutes of sustaining those wounds. The
loss of blood and function of those organs would have caused a rapid death.
TRANSCRIPT #9—DR. HOWARD REYNOLDS, FORENSICS &
BALLISTICS, CHICAGO POLICE DEPT., May 4, 2003
Reynolds, you are a forensics and ballistics expert for the Chicago Police
Yes, I am.
examined the bullets found at the scene of the 7-Eleven robbery. Tell us
what you discovered.
were used in a .45 caliber handgun. I was not able to determine if the
bullets could have come out of any particular .45 caliber gun. Also, no
recognizable fingerprints were found on the bullets.
have also examined the gun found in Mateo Lopez’s house. Can you describe
the weapon to me?
suspect’s weapon is a .45 caliber handgun made by Allied Guns, a
manufacturer out of Portland, Oregon. It has been sold throughout the
country for about four years now and sells for approximately $100. Like
most .45 caliber guns, this particular gun is advertised for its power.
is the power significant?
more power a handgun has, the more control you need to use it. When you
fire a gun, it has a kickback which will cause muzzle climb… that’s when the
force from a fired gun causes the muzzle of the gun to rise up. Usually
more experienced owners buy and use a .45. It would be very difficult for
someone who had not used a gun like this before to fire it accurately.
coroner measured the distance of the two bullet wounds sustained by Mr.
Carver. In her report, she indicates that the wounds were approximately
3.25” apart. What do you make of Mr. Carver’s wounds?
proximity of the wounds is very telling. Considering the power of a .45 and
its tendency to kick-back, the gunman would need a significant amount of
control to produce such accuracy.
you tell us what you mean by “accuracy?”
the bullets entered Carver’s body in nearly the same area. If an
inexperienced gunsman had been using the Allied .45, the power of the first
shot probably would have moved the gunsman’s arm significantly. Only an
experienced gunsman who knows the power of his weapon and has braced himself
for the power of that first shot is likely to re-aim and fire with such
accuracy. Another way to control the power of the weapon is to hold it with
a double grip instead of with one hand, although, again, experience is
understand you also examined several articles of clothing from the prime
suspect’s home. What did you find there?
particularly telling. I was asked to check the items for blood, type A-,
but the only blood I found was B+, the suspect’s own blood type. There were
no other items, hairs or tissues, detected on the clothing that could be
tied to the victim.
you study the blood spatters from Carver’s body at the scene of the crime
and if so, what did you find?
Most of the
blood was spattered behind the counter where Carver was found. Several
drops hit the counter top, the cash register, and the area right behind the
counter. Also, due to the exit wounds and the way Carver fell back, there
was significant blood spatters and streaks on the shelving unit of
cigarettes behind the counter. Only three blood spatters were found beyond
the front of the counter. These were found on the floor.
also led the forensics team at the site of the crime. What were your
and door were dusted for prints, but no readable one’s besides those
belonging to Mr. Carver and a few other people not suspected in this crime
you find any fingerprints belonging to Mr. Lopez on the premises?
Yes, I did
find a couple smudged prints on the magazine rack close to the door. There
were also several in the back storeroom and in the office, again, mostly
there anything telling about finding only “smudged” prints?
There are lots of explanations for that. Most of us make smudged prints in
our normal everyday activities. However, it’s more likely to find smudged
prints when the prints are a few days old, especially in high-traffic
areas. Of course, it’s just as likely that in such “high traffic” areas,
whatever prints are found would be totally unrecognizable.
TRANSCRIPT #10—WENDEL W. DAVIS, OWNER, WESTLAKE ROD & GUN
CLUB, May 10, 2003
was questioned by an investigator for the defense.)
Davis, do you know a man named Mateo Lopez?
really recall anyone by that name.
you recognize this membership card?
a card for our club. And that’s my signature.
Q: So do
you remember a Mateo Lopez?
remember him specifically, although clearly I signed him up as a member of
the club. Can’t say as I know him though. If he’d been coming in to the
club, I’d know him. I make a point to know all my regulars.
have a record of registering Mr. Lopez as a member of your club?
Sure, let me
get out my book… See, here… just like the card says. Must have come in
June 18 of last year. Says here he’s got a .45 caliber handgun. That’s a
good sized gun. Not something for a first-time owner or for someone who
ain’t going to practice learning how to handle it.
again, Mr. Davis, looking at this picture here do you recognize this man?
picture of Lopez)
No, I don’t
know that guy.
Q: Do you
have any record of when your members do come in and out of your club?
No, no logs
or anything. No signing in or signing out. I just go based on what I see.
TRANSCRIPT #12—MATEO LOPEZ, SUSPECT, April 28, 2003
were you at 1:15 this morning?
I was at my
were you doing there?
We had just
got home from a bar a little while before. We both fell asleep on her
couch, so I was asleep at that time.
happened after that?
Well I woke
up a little after 1:30.
My back was all cramped up so I went to bed.
anyone confirm your story?
girlfriend was with me, but she was asleep.
you describe your relationship to Reginald Carver?
worked with him at the 7-Eleven. He got me fired from that job a few days
did he get you fired?
He’s had it
in for me ever since we got put on the same shift. He’s some sort of racist
pig, always calling me a wetback, saying Mexicans ain’t worth nothing. He
hated me from day one just because I’m Mexican. So he made up this story
that I been drinking on the job and he takes a six-pack out of the cooler
and hides it so the boss will believe him and fire me. It worked too.
you see Mr. Carver remove the six-pack or tell Mr. Turner that you had been
drinking on the job?
didn’t, but I know he did it. The boss told me that he was firing me
because of my drinking. I ain’t never had a drink on the job.
you recall an argument you had with Mr. Carver last week in which you
threatened to kill him if Mr. Carver got you fired?
remember. Damon was there too. Reggie was all in my face again, insulting
me and I wanted to bust his head. And then he started talking crap about
getting me fired. I’m a good worker. I shouldn’t be fired. So I told him
that if he got me fired I would get him. He’d deserve it for all the crap
he’s put me through.
Lopez, do you own a .45 caliber handgun?
you can check it too. It’s all registered and everything.
you ever used that gun?
Naw, I never
have. I got it a year ago just in case I needed it at home, like at night
or something, but I never even fired it. Joined a gun club… Western,
Westland…something like that. Waste of money. I never went. I just kept
it in my closet all wrapped up.
night at the bar, how many beers did you drink?
I had maybe
about five beers. Maybe more.
how long were you at the bar?
11:30 maybe to 12:30, 12:45.
you drank five beers in about one hour? Were you drunk when you left?
guess so. Like I felt like I was doing everything slow.
had you been drinking so much?
‘Cause I had
no job no more. What the hell did I care? And my girlfriend was all on my
nerves with wanting to dance. I just wanted to drink.
again, where were you between 1 am and 2 am on April 28?
Man, I was
asleep. Was at my girlfriend’s place.
Again, can anyone verify this?
girlfriend…. Well, I mean, like I said, she was asleep too.
you were pulled over for your DUI, Officer London found $300 in your glove
compartment. Where was that money from?
I got that
from my last paycheck. I had just cashed it.
you purchase anything with the money you got from that check prior to your
Stopped at a
liquor store and got some beer.
you have the receipt from that purchase? How much did you spend?
Naw, I threw
it away. And I spent maybe $15, maybe $20.
police found the paycheck that you say you cashed in your apartment. Can
you explain that?
know. I thought I had cashed my last check. Maybe I cashed a different
did you cash this check?
carefully through the entire case. Using highlighters, start color-coding
important evidence. Make one color indicate evidence for the prosecution.
Another color should indicate evidence for the defense.
reading through the case at least once, select the side of your
choice—prosecution or defense. Starting filling out the chart below with
your ideas about what POINTS (e.g., motive or lack of motive, opportunity or
lack of opportunity, method, various points focused on other evidence) you
would establish to PROVE YOUR SIDE OF THE CASE. (Circle the “side” you’ve
chosen.) These points should be listed in “PRO” column because they will
support—be “for”—your side of the case.
Next, start thinking about the
other side of the case. What will that side use against you? What POINTS
will the other side probably attempt to PROVE? List these points in the
“CON” column because they will go against—be in “con”flict—with what your
side will want to prove/establish.
picked (right now): PROSECUTION DEFENSE
Identify the weak parts of your argument. What will the opposition say
about your points? How will you defend them?
points do you expect the opposition to bring up in defense of their claim?
List them below and describe how you will attempt to destroy each point.