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NAME: _____________________________


Mock Trial Packet: State vs. Mateo Lopez

Curie Metro High School
IB Survey Literature è Ms. Spachman è March 2004


Overview of Case, Investigative Notes, and Description of Surveillance Video—Pages 2-3

List of Collected Evidence—Page 4

Witness Statements—Pages 4-14


     Additional Evidence Available:



Payroll Evidence—Pages 15-20

Pro/Con List Worksheet—Page 21

Counter-Argument Worksheet—Pages 22-23

Mock Trial Roles—Page 24

Mini-Mock Trial Manual: Mock Trial Procedures—Pages 25-27 (large manual available for viewing or download in PDF)



State vs. Mateo Lopez

Overview of the Case

On April 28, 2003 at 1:24 am, Redilert™, a security company, received an alarm signal from the 7-Eleven® at _______ 55th Street.  Technician Rosalee Calderon quickly telephoned the convenience store to confirm the alarm.  When no one answered her call, Mrs. Calderon notified police and the owner of the 7-Eleven®.


At 1:31 am, police arrived on the scene.  Officers Kowalski and Jones entered the store with weapons drawn.  No one appeared to be in the store, including the clerk.  The officers proceeded into the store and found Reginald Carver, the night manager, shot two times in the chest behind the cashier’s counter.  The register on the counter was open and mostly empty.  After confirming that Carver was dead, Officer Jones called for an ambulance and back-up while Officer Kowalski searched the premises for the assailant.  He found no one.


After an investigation by homicide detectives (statements and other evidence included below), police arrested Mateo Lopez, a recently fired employee of the 7-Eleven where Reginald Carver was killed.


At his arraignment, Mr. Lopez entered a plea of “not guilty.”  He is now about to be tried on one count of first degree murder.  The definition of “first degree murder” appears below.

The first 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 act.

The second 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.

The third 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].


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Investigative Notes

(recorded during initial investigations by homicide detective Yusuf Elhaj, 4-28-03)

Ü    Reginald Carver found behind counter, shot twice in the chest at close range (w/i ten feet).  1 bullet punctured left lung; other grazed right ventricle of heart.  Coroner estimates it took Carver less than 5 min. to die.

Ü    Forensics experts identified the bullets.  Fired from a .45 handgun.

Ü    Forensics found traces of Carver’s blood (A-) and Carver’s fingerprints on the Redilert™ alarm button behind the cashier’s counter.  No other readable fingerprints were found in this area.

Ü    .38 caliber handgun kept at store legally registered to store’s owner, Jay Turner.  Found gun in Turner’s desk in back storeroom.

Ü    Cash register found opened.  All bills cleaned out; change left.  Store safe in back storeroom was locked and untouched.

Ü    A Redilert™ surveillance camera positioned behind the counter video taped the crime.  No other cameras captured any part of the crime nor a view of the perpetrator.

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Location: 7-Eleven®, _______ 55th Street, Chicago

Date:  April 28, 2003

Start Time: 1:18 am

Perspective:  Camera is mounted on wall behind cashier’s counter near ceiling.  It is a stationary camera, and the scope of its view includes the cashier’s counter and about 4 feet beyond the counter into the store.


Reginald Carver sits on a stool behind the counter.  The camera only has a view of his back and the top of his head.  Carver’s feet are propped up on the edge of the counter as he reads a magazine.  At 1:19:49 am Carver looks up from the magazine, presumably because someone has entered the store.  Perpetrator first appears on tape at 1:20:01 am.


Perpetrator is wearing dark jeans, a dark hooded sweatshirt with the hood up and pulled over to cover his forehead.  Perpetrator is wearing black sunglasses which cover almost the whole top of his face.  He appears to have medium dark skin and has a thin mustache.  He isn’t wearing any distinguishing jewelry and has no scars or tattoos showing.  In his right hand is a .45 handgun.  Carver immediately stands up putting his right hand in the air.  Carver’s left hand goes to hit the alarm button, but the perpetrator speaks and waves his gun at Carver until both of his hands are in the air.  Carver then goes to the cash register, fumbling to grab all the bills and put them into a bag.  He then lays the bag on the counter, and the perpetrator begins to speak again, apparently repeating the same thing over and over.  Carver shakes his head, keeping his hands in the air.  Suddenly the perpetrator steps back, aims the gun with both hands, fires his gun twice in two seconds, grabs the money and runs out of the store.  Carver, who has been shot, slumps to the floor behind the counter.  His hand reaches up to press the alarm button and then falls back to the side of his body.  Carver remains on the floor.  He does not move again after 1:25:15.


At 1:31:56, Officers Jones and Kowalski appear on tape to find Carver dead.


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List of Collected Evidence

Description of Evidence


6 pages of payroll information from J. Turner’s log book; pages detail checks paid to M. Lopez

Catalogued as evidence #H58910

M. Lopez’s Gun Club membership card, Westlake Rod & Gun Club

Catalogued as evidence #H58911

Picture of M. Lopez’s Chevy Impala, 1996; driver’s side of car; picture taken by police

Catalogued as evidence #H58912

Picture of M. Lopez’s Chevy Impala, 1996; front and driver’s side of car

Defense Exhibit

.45 caliber handgun found at M. Lopez’s residence



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(All statements are responses to police questions about the crime unless otherwise indicated.)



Q:  Mr. Turner, do you recognize the robber in this surveillance tape?

Can’t tell.  His face is too covered for me to tell.


Q:  Have you had any trouble like this at your store before?

No, never.  We have had very good luck until now.  Poor Reggie, he just had a baby girl, you know.  I was always worried that something like this would happen, so I kept a gun here, you know, just in case.  However, no one has ever had cause to use it, and I’ve owned this place for almost two years now.


Q:  Is there anyone you know of who might have reason to commit this crime?

The robbery?  No…  Except that I just had to fire one of my employees, Mateo Lopez.  Let’s see, I fired him two, no three days ago.  He used to work the night shifts with Reggie, or when Reggie couldn’t work.  I thought he was a reliable person until Reggie told me he had been drinking on the job.


Q:  So what Mr. Carver told you prompted you to fire this guy?

Well, not then.  But Reggie seemed to have all kinds of complaints with his work, and then he told me about the drinking.  At first I wasn’t sure because I have my employees screened for drugs and all regularly and randomly.  Mateo had just gone the week before.  I had sent him out as soon as he was getting off work.  I like to surprise them.  Not that I don’t trust them, but you can’t ever be sure.  And he went willingly as always.  The test came back negative.  Nothing in his system.


Q:  What eventually made you believe Mr. Carver?

Reggie has been here since the beginning.  He was the first person I ever hired.  And then when he started telling me about Mateo’s drinking, I sort of started paying attention around the store.  And sure enough, the next night after Mateo got off work, I discovered that a six-pack of beer was missing.  Two of the cans were in the dumpster.  So I fired him.


Q:  How did Mr. Lopez react?

He was angry, of course.  Not so much at me as he was with Reggie.


Q:  Did you tell him why he had been fired?  Why was he mad at Mr. Carver?

Well, I didn’t get a real chance to explain anything.  I had just said that his performance was not good enough lately, things like that.  And then he started yelling about Carver and how Carver must have done this and he’d be sorry.


Q:  Did he say anything else?  About you or the store?

No, he just wanted his check.  Then he left.


Q:  You said that Mr. Lopez had worked the night shift.  Was he a manager like Mr. Carver?

Not exactly.  He was sort of a fill in manager, only the nights Reggie couldn’t work at all, you know.


Q:  How much did Mr. Lopez know about the store?  Did he know where the gun was?  The safe?

Oh, he knew about the gun.  I always kept it up front behind the counter for the night shift.  I don’t know why it was still in my desk the night of the robbery.  Anyway, Mateo didn’t have a key to the store or anything, but he knew how to operate the register, and how to open the safe so he could put any large bills back there or get rolls of change.  He also did a lot of shelf stocking and filling the coolers at night during the dead hours after three in the morning.


Q:  How about the cameras?  Did he know about the camera behind the counter?

Oh yes, definitely.  All of my employees go through a seminar with Redilert™ so they know about the alarm and the cameras and what to do if there’s a fire and such.


Q:  Have you seen Mr. Lopez since you fired him?

No, no.  I have not seen him.  Like I said he took his last check with him the day he left.


Q:  How much was Mr. Lopez’s last check?

Here in my record book… it says his last check was $323.28 after taxes.


Q:  Could the man seen in the surveillance tape be Mr. Lopez?

It’s hard to tell.  So much of his face is covered.  I really do not recognize him, but I suppose it is possible.  Mateo has a mustache kind of like that.


Q:  One last question… about how much money was stolen from the register?

Too much.  Reggie didn’t clean it out a bit before starting his shift at midnight, I guess.  There was $305 in there as far as I can tell from the sales.


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Q:  Mr. Washington, do you recognize the man in the video?

No, I can’t really see his face enough.


Q:  Do you know Mateo Lopez?

Yeah, the guy used to work here.  We used to work the evening shift together when I first got hired.  He sort a showed me the ropes of this place.


Q:  So you might say you knew him pretty well?

Well it’s not like we hung out together outside of this place, but we knew each other enough to get along.


Q:  Do you know why Mr. Lopez was fired a few days ago?

Yeah, apparently Reggie had been telling Turner this story about Mateo drinking on the job.  Now I don’t know if that all was true or nothing, but Mateo and Reggie had this thing going, and I bet that’s why he really got fired.


Q:  What do you mean?

Like Reggie and Mateo, you know, they hated each other.  They were always going at it.  But lately it was worse.


Q:  Can you be more specific?  Do you mean to tell me that Mr. Carver and Mr. Lopez used to argue a lot?

Yeah, man.  Like before, when Mateo first got put on the late night shift with Reggie, they used to punch each other’s buttons.  Like Reggie just didn’t like Mateo for some reason, I think because he was Mexican, you know.  Reggie’s mom was mugged by some Mexican a few years ago.  And then when Turner put Mateo on the late shift with Reggie and to help cover the nights Reggie was off, well, Reggie started with these jokes about how many Mexicans it takes to screw in a light bulb and stuff.  At least that was what Mateo told me a month or so ago.


Q:  How did Mr. Lopez react?  Did their relationship get worse?

Mateo, man, he just sort of took it for awhile, like it was no skin off his back.  But then, well, you’ve got to understand that anyone would have to react to that kind of crap at some time.  So from what I know, whenever Reggie started making his comments, Mateo would just swear at him under his breath.  Of course then Reggie’d get madder and make more comments until they were just shouting at each other like in the storeroom or something.


Q:  Did you ever witness one of their arguments?

Sure, just last week.  I was finishing unpacking some boxes Turner wanted done near the end of my shift right around midnight.  Mateo was there helping me and then Reggie came on in and started saying something like he wondered how many siestas Mateo was going to take tonight while he did all the work.   And then Mateo told Reggie he had a real attitude problem.  And Reggie says well at least I’m not some drunk with an ugly illegal for a girlfriend.  And Mateo just about lost it.  I held him back, but if I hadn’t I know he would have pounded Reggie.  Reggie just laughed while I was holding him and said he better cool his temper or Mateo might find himself out of a job.  Mateo said if Reggie got him fired he’d hunt him down and watch him die a slow death.  And just then the phone rang and it was Turner.  And the two of them just sort of headed for opposite parts of the store and glared at each other until I left.


Q:  Did you ever notice Mr. Lopez drinking on the job?

No, not once.  Mateo was a good guy.  He just couldn’t deal with Reggie being such a jerk all the time.  I wouldn’t either.


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Q:  Mrs. Watson, you work at the Marathon across the street from the 7-Eleven, correct.

Yeah, I do.


Q:  Were you working the morning of April 28?

Yeah, I was working.  I do the graveyard every Sunday and Thursday there.


Q:  Can you tell me what you saw early in the morning of April 28.

Well it was a real cold night so not many people were out.  And I remember just staring off across the street ‘cause there was no one much around and the street was real quiet.  And I saw this dark car pulling out of the 7-Eleven real quick-like.  It sort of sped on out of that parking lot and ran the red light at the corner.


Q:  About what time was this?

It had to be close to 1:30 because The Jeffersons was just ending on the TV, and I was waiting for the next show to come on.


Q:  Can you describe the car aside from it being green?  Did you see the driver or the license plates?

No, I just remember it being green or something.  The light wasn’t all that good except under the street light on 55th.  Then I saw the car, and I swear it was green.  I think it had four doors too.  Don’t remember anything else about it or the driver.


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Q:  Ms. Gutierrez, thank you for taking some time to talk to us.  How long have you known Mateo Lopez?

We been dating for like three years now.  We got a daughter.  Her name is Ana.


Q:  Do you live together?

No.  We tried like a year ago, but it just didn’t work.  That’s why we never got married.


Q:  Were you with Mr. Lopez the night of April 27?

Yeah, he’d just taken me out to El Rancho, a bar in my neighborhood.  He wasn’t in no good mood that night ‘cause he’d gotten fired a couple days before, and he only bought me one drink but he had several beers.


Q:  Did he say anything about why he’d been fired to you?

He wouldn’t shut up about it, especially that first night he got home.  He was swearing left and right, I almost sent Ana to the neighbor’s because he wouldn’t settle.  He said this guy at work had got him fired, the one who’d been messing with his head for a long time… But that doesn’t mean Teo did anything, you know… to the guy.  My Teo’s not violent or nothing.


Q:  About what time did you get to the bar on April 27?

We got there after 11, I’m not sure when exactly.  His eyes were all bloodshot and he wouldn’t smile.  I think he’d been drinking before he picked me up. 


Q:  Do you remember what he was wearing?

Um, he was wearing… black jeans I think.  Oh and a white shirt.  And he had on the watch I gave him for Christmas.  I remember that because I kept looking at it to find out the time.


Q:  How long did you stay at the bar?

We weren’t there very long because he seemed tired and he wouldn’t pay attention to me.  Around 12:30 I got tired of sitting there and not dancing, and Mateo doesn’t like me dancing with other guys, so I got up and left.  It took him a minute to realize it or something, but then he came after me.  I was already down the block from the bar.


Q:  What happened then?

He yelled at me to wait and said I was good for nothing.  I told him the same, that he was drunk and a loser who couldn’t keep a job, and he really was drunk.  He almost slapped me.  He looked like he was going to fall down when he did it.  I was surprised he could even walk because he was stumbling a lot and leaning against buildings so he wouldn’t fall.  He got really mad and almost slapped me.  But then he just sort of deflated like a balloon and turned away from me.  I was sorry, you know.  It wasn’t his fault he got fired.  And so I went after him and told him I was sorry, I didn’t mean it, he was a good dad, that kind of stuff.  And then we went back to my place.


Q:  What time did you get there?

Close to 1.


Q:  And what happened?

He got himself a beer from my fridge and sat down on the couch.  I was tired so I laid down at the other end of the couch and put my feet on him.  We just stayed like that, and watched some TV.  I fell asleep and woke up around 2 or so.  Mateo had gone and left the TV on.  When I went upstairs I found Mateo in my bed and then I went to sleep.


Q:  Do you know where Mateo was between 1 and 2 am?

I guess he was with me.  I mean we were both dead tired.  I don’t know after I fell asleep what all he did, but my guess is he went to bed.


Q:  Just a few more questions.  You mentioned Mateo’s drinking.  Did he drink a lot regularly?

Oh, Mateo just likes his beer.  Whenever we go out he likes to get drunk and he keeps beer at his place all the time, but I wouldn’t say he needs it.


Q:  Did he ever drink before work?

Not that I noticed.  He drinks mostly when we go out the nights he doesn’t work, and sometimes when he gets off the late shift he’ll have one, you know, right before bed.


Q:  You had a chance to look at the surveillance tape from the robbery.  Do you recognize the man with the gun?

No, I’ve never seen him before.


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(Officer Martinez was questioned by an investigator from the prosecutor’s office.)


Q:  Officer Martinez, you arrested Mateo Lopez on April 28.  Can you describe the arrest and what he was charged with?

At 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.


Q:  Could 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.


Q:  When you brought Mr. Lopez into your precinct and gave him a breathalyzer test, what were the results?

Mr. Lopez’s blood alcohol level registered at .18, 1 point above the legal driving limit.


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(Officer London was questioned by an investigator from the prosecutor’s office.)


Q:  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.


Q:  Did 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.


Q:  When 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 do then?

I 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 Reginald Carver.


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(Ms. Rivera was questioned by an investigator from the prosecutor’s office.)


Q:  Ms. Rivera, where were you the night of April 27?

I was 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 her name.


Q:  Did 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.


Q:  How many beers did he have?

Lord, I 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.


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Q:  Dr. Tam, you are a coroner for the City of Chicago, correct?

Yes, that is my position.


Q:  You examined the body of Reginald Carver on April 28, 2003, correct?



Q:  Can you explain your findings?

The victim 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 gun.


Q: Can you determine how long it took for Mr. Carver to die?

My best 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.


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Q:  Dr. Reynolds, you are a forensics and ballistics expert for the Chicago Police Department, correct?

Yes, I am.


Q:  You examined the bullets found at the scene of the 7-Eleven robbery.  Tell us what you discovered.

The bullets 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.


Q:  You have also examined the gun found in Mateo Lopez’s house.  Can you describe the weapon to me?

The 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.


Q:  Why is the power significant?

Well, the 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.


Q:  The 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?

The 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. 


Q:  Can you tell us what you mean by “accuracy?”

Meaning that 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 important.


Q:  I understand you also examined several articles of clothing from the prime suspect’s home.  What did you find there?

Nothing 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.


Q:  Did 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.


Q: You also led the forensics team at the site of the crime.  What were your findings there?

The counter 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 were found.


Q: Did 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 smudged.


Q:  Is there anything telling about finding only “smudged” prints?

Not really.  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.


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(Mr. Davis was questioned by an investigator for the defense.)


Q:  Mr. Davis, do you know a man named Mateo Lopez?

I don’t really recall anyone by that name.


Q:  Do you recognize this membership card?

Yes, that’s a card for our club.  And that’s my signature.


Q: So do you remember a Mateo Lopez?

Don’t 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.


Q: Do 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.


Q:  Once again, Mr. Davis, looking at this picture here do you recognize this man? (shows 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.


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(Mrs. Wade was questioned by an investigator for the defense.)


Q:  Mrs. Wade, you are an instructor at the Illinois Institute for Hearing Loss.  Can you describe your job to us?

I’ve been working at the institute for about twelve years now.  I help older children and adults to learn to cope with their hearing loss.  In particular, I teach them how to read lips.  I work with English-speakers.


Q:  Mrs. Wade, do you yourself read lips?

Yes, I do.  I was diagnosed with a profound hearing loss after a car accident in my late teens.  I had to learn how to read lips at that time because no hearing devices were strong enough to make up for the hearing deficit I had.


Q:  Can you tell me what else you’ve done as a skilled lip reader?

I’ve worked three times with the FBI on surveillance cases over the past two years.  In all three cases, my work with them led to an arrest and conviction of the people responsible.


Q:  Mrs. Wade, you have had the opportunity to see the surveillance video of a recent robbery several times. Can you tell us, in your expert opinion, what the robber is saying?

It is a little difficult to tell because so much of his face is covered.  However, at one point the robber repeats the same line over and over.  I was able to make out what he was saying.  He said, “Where is the safe? Where is the safe?  Show me where the safe is, man.”


Q:  You are certain that that is what he was saying?

Yes, very certain.


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Q:  Where were you at 1:15 this morning?

I was at my girlfriend’s house.


Q:  What 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.


Q:  What happened after that?

Well I woke up a little after 1:30.  My back was all cramped up so I went to bed.


Q:  Can anyone confirm your story?

Well my girlfriend was with me, but she was asleep.


Q:  Can you describe your relationship to Reginald Carver?

Yeah, I worked with him at the 7-Eleven.  He got me fired from that job a few days ago.


Q:  How 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.


Q:  Did you see Mr. Carver remove the six-pack or tell Mr. Turner that you had been drinking on the job?

Naw, I 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.


Q:  Do you recall an argument you had with Mr. Carver last week in which you threatened to kill him if Mr. Carver got you fired?

Yeah, I 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.


Q:  Mr. Lopez, do you own a .45 caliber handgun?

Yes.  And you can check it too.  It’s all registered and everything.


Q:  Have 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.


Q:  That night at the bar, how many beers did you drink?

I had maybe about five beers.  Maybe more.


Q:  And how long were you at the bar?

Like from 11:30 maybe to 12:30, 12:45.


Q:  So you drank five beers in about one hour?  Were you drunk when you left?

Yeah, I guess so.  Like I felt like I was doing everything slow.


Q:  Why 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.


Q:  Once again, where were you between 1 am and 2 am on April 28?

Man, I was asleep.  Was at my girlfriend’s place.


Q:  Again, can anyone verify this?

My girlfriend…. Well, I mean, like I said, she was asleep too.


Q:  When 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.


Q:  Did you purchase anything with the money you got from that check prior to your arrest?

Stopped at a liquor store and got some beer.


Q:  Do you have the receipt from that purchase?  How much did you spend?

Naw, I threw it away.  And I spent maybe $15, maybe $20.


Q:  Yet police found the paycheck that you say you cashed in your apartment.  Can you explain that?

I don’t know.  I thought I had cashed my last check.  Maybe I cashed a different one.


Q:  Where did you cash this check?

I can’t remember.


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Mock Trial Roles

Key:     No shading = Non-speaking Role@ trial

            Light shading = Smaller Speaking Role @ trial

??? = May speak, may not speak @ trial

Dark shading = Larger Speaking Role @ trial         




Neutral or Side to be Determined

Lead attorney 1:

Opening argument

Lead attorney A:

Opening argument



Lead attorney 2:

Direct questioning

Lead attorney B:

Direct questioning


Expert Witness:

Dr. Howard Reynolds

Lead attorney 3:


Lead attorney C:



Expert Witness:

Dr. Alice Tan

Lead attorney 4:

Closing argument

Lead attorney D:

Closing argument



You will write an article about the case leading into the trial

Attorney 5:

Prepare Prosecution’s Case

Attorney E:

Prepare Defense’s Case



You will write an article about the trial after it’s over

Attorney 6:

Prepare Prosecution’s Case

Attorney F:

Prepare Defense’s Case



Attorney 7:

Prepare Prosecution’s Case

Attorney G:

Prepare Defense’s Case



Attorney 8:

Prepare Counter-Argument against Defense

Attorney H:

Prepare Counter-Argument against Prosecution



Attorney 9:

Prepare Counter-Argument against Defense

Attorney I:

Prepare Counter-Argument against Prosecution



Attorney 10:

Prepare Counter-Argument against Defense

Attorney J:

Prepare Counter-Argument against Prosecution




Jay Turner

??? Defendant: ???

Mateo Lopez




Damon Washington


Lucinda Gutierrez




Linda Watson

Expert Witness:

Mary Lynn Wade




Off. J. Martinez


Wendel W. Davis




Off. S. London


Mariana Rivera



??? Practice/Backup Witness: ???

Will need to play the role of witnesses on the other side to help your attorneys prepare

??? Practice/Backup Witness: ???

Will need to play the role of witnesses on the other side to help your attorneys prepare



??? Practice/Backup Witness: ???

Will need to play the role of witnesses on the other side to help your attorneys prepare

??? Practice/Backup Witness: ???

Will need to play the role of witnesses on the other side to help your attorneys prepare



??? Practice/Backup Witness: ???

Will need to play the role of witnesses on the other side to help your attorneys prepare

??? Practice/Backup Witness: ???

Will need to play the role of witnesses on the other side to help your attorneys prepare



 Read 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.

 After 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.


Side I’ve picked (right now):                 PROSECUTION                     DEFENSE































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 1.  Identify the weak parts of your argument.  What will the opposition say about your points?  How will you defend them?


Weak point: 




Weak point: 




Weak point:





2.  What 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.


Opposition’s point:




Opposition’s point:




Opposition’s point:





Opposition’s point:





Opposition’s point:



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Q:  Dr. Vargas, can you please explain your position and qualifications?

I am the resident at the head of the Chemical Dependency Program at Alexian Brothers Hospital in Schaumburg, Illinois.  I have been in this position for 4 years, and I worked as an intern in this program for the previous 10 years.  As part of my job, I am responsible for working with people with alcoholic dependencies.  I also do consultant work through the Schaumburg police department by speaking at workshops targeting people who have been arrested for their first DUI offense.  I’ve been doing that work for about six years.


Q:  As a medical professional who daily meets with and treats those with alcohol addictions, can you please describe what BAL is?

BAL stands for “blood alcohol level.”  It is also sometimes referred to as BAC, or blood alcohol concentration.  BAL or BAC is the amount of alcohol present in a person’s blood stream while they are drinking.  Police officers, for example, when they give someone a Breathalyzer test, are measuring this level.


Q:  Can you tell us why someone’s blood alcohol level is so important?

Well, the amount of alcohol present in someone’s blood stream can have a significant, and sometimes deadly, effect on the person’s ability to function.


Q:  It has been postulated in court that the defendant may have had only 3-4 drinks over the course of one hour on the night he is accused of murdering Mr. Carver.  What sort of BAL would he have had and what would have been the effect on his abilities?

The defendant, who is approximately 180 lbs, would have had a BAC of about .065.  As we can see from the chart, with this level of alcohol in his blood, he would most likely be feeling very relaxed, his reasoning would be slightly impaired, his emotions would probably become exaggerated.


Q:  What if he’d had 5-6 beers during this hour?

Then his BAC would be about .10, and from the chart we can see the effects of this amount of alcohol would be significant.  He would have been having significant problems with how much he could control his bodily movements, and he would be unlikely to exhibit good judgment.  This is why it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .10 in all states.  In fact most states say it’s illegal to drive with a BAC of .08.


Q:  What if he had as many as 8 beers during the hour he was at the bar?

His BAC would be .15.  He wouldn’t be able to keep his balance, he’d be unable to see things clearly, his ability to reason would be severely reduced, and it’s likely that negative emotions, like depression and anger, would be exhibited and poorly controlled.


Q:  Does a person’s BAC change if they’re more accustomed to drinking?

No, a person’s BAC does not change.  However, the more tolerant a person is to alcohol, the less you’ll see the effects an average person might experience under the same BAC condition.  For example, a moderate drinker with a BAC of about .065 would probably exhibit more control and better judgment than someone unused to having this same amount of alcohol in his/her blood.


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The effects of alcohol intoxication are greatly influenced by individual variations; some users may become intoxicated at a much lower BAC level than is indicated (below)...

0.02 — 0.03 BAC: No loss of coordination, slight euphoria and loss of shyness. Depressant effects are not apparent. Mildly relaxed and maybe a little lightheaded.

0.04 — 0.06 BAC: Feeling of well-being, relaxation, lower inhibitions, sensation of warmth. Euphoria. Some minor impairment of reasoning and memory, lowering of caution. Your behavior may become exaggerated and emotions intensified (Good emotions are better, bad emotions are worse)

0.07 — 0.09 BAC: Slight impairment of balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing. Euphoria. Judgment and self-control are reduced, and caution, reason and memory are impaired (in some* states .08 is legally impaired and it is illegal to drive at this level). You will probably believe that you are functioning better than you really are. ( * —As of
11/20/2003, 45 states had passed .08 BAC Per Se Laws.)

0.10 — 0.125 BAC: Significant impairment of motor coordination and loss of good judgment. Speech may be slurred; balance, vision, reaction time and hearing will be impaired. Euphoria. It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle at this level of intoxication in all states.

0.13 — 0.15 BAC: Gross motor impairment and lack of physical control. Blurred vision and major loss of balance. Euphoria is reduced and dysphoria* is beginning to appear. Judgment and perception are severely impaired.
( * —Dysphoria: An emotional state of anxiety, depression, or unease.)

0.16 — 0.19 BAC: Dysphoria predominates, nausea may appear. The drinker has the appearance of a "sloppy drunk."

0.20 BAC: Feeling dazed/confused or otherwise disoriented. May need help to stand/walk. If you injure yourself you may not feel the pain. Some people have nausea and vomiting at this level. The gag reflex is impaired and you can choke if you do vomit. Blackouts are likely at this level so you may not remember what has happened.

0.25 BAC: All mental, physical and sensory functions are severely impaired. Increased risk of asphyxiation from choking on vomit and of seriously injuring yourself by falls or other accidents.

0.30 BAC: STUPOR. You have little comprehension of where you are. You may pass out suddenly and be difficult to awaken.

0.35 BAC: Coma is possible. This is the level of surgical anesthesia.

0.40 BAC and up: Onset of coma, and possible death due to respiratory arrest.



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Map and drive time estimate:  Gutierrez residence – 7-Eleven

                                                      (59th & Komensky)    (55th & Kostner)


Distance:  1.08 miles                         Drive Time:  3 minutes


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Map and drive time estimate:  Lopez – Gutierrez residences

                                                      (65th & Whipple) (59th & Komensky)


Distance:  2.5 miles                           Drive Time:  7 minutes



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Map and drive time estimate:  Lopez residence – 7-Eleven

                                                      (65th & Whipple) (55th & Kostner)


Distance:  3.46 miles                         Drive Time:  10 minutes



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If You're a MAN, your Blood Alcohol Level is:


# of drinks in one hour 100 lbs. 120 lbs. 140 lbs. 160 lbs. 180 lbs. 200 lbs. 220 lbs. 240 lbs.
1 .04 .04 .03 .03 .02 .02 .02 .02
2 .09 .07 .06 .05 .05 .04 .04 .043
3 .13 .11 .09 .08 .07 .07 .06 .05
4 .17 .15 .13 .11 .10 .09 .08 .07
5 .22 .18 .16 .14 .12 .11 .10 .09
6 .26 .22 .19 .16 .15 .13 .12 .11
7 .30 .25 .22 .19 .17 .15 .14 .13
8 .35 .29 .25 .22 .19 .17 .16 .14
9 .37 .32 .26 .24 .20 .19 .17 .15
10 .39 .35 .28 .25 .22 .20 .18 .16
11 .48 .40 .34 .30 .26 .24 .22 .20
12  .53 .43 .37 .32 .29 .26 .24 .21
13  .57 .47 .40 .35 .31 .29 .26 .23
14  .62 .50 .43 .37 .34 .31 .28 .25
15 .66 .54 .47 .40 .36 .34 .30 .27


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