Las Vegas CBS KNXT – Alexander “Big Bad” Wolf was caught on video survelliance tape blowing down the straw and stick houses of two little pigs. Even with the footage as evidence, it was hardly an open-and-shut case for the fourth-grade attorneys in the Henderson International School’s Fairy Tale Mock Trial.
A youthful SWAT team commander — also a fourth grader — testified about the scene where scant remains of two little pigs were found amidst the rubble of their collapsed homes. The team collected evidence, including a bloody paw print and pig bones.
Defense attorneys called the wolf’s doctor, who testified that he might not be capable of blowing down houses, since he has athsma, and was suffering from a cold on the date in question. They submitted inspection documents showing that the homes of the pigs were in poor condition, and a neighbor of the pigs tesitifed that they did not perform basic upkeep on their properties.
A baby-faced building inspector confirmed that the homes should be condemned, and agreed with defense attorneys that it wouldn’t take much more than a sneeze could knock the homes down.
Defense hoped to prove that the ramshackle homes fell when the wolf sneezed, killing the pigs, and that the wolf ate the pigs only after they were already dead. The wolf did not take the stand.
Fourth grade teacher Christy Simon said preparation for the trial took three weeks, and included help from working lawyers who came to the classroom to help develop the arguments. The jury consisted of students from a separate class, who were not familiar with the case.
Eighth District Court judge Susan Johnson gave everyone high marks for cases well-argued. Johnson participates each year in the mock trial. Some of the children may never enter a court room, she told KXNT. She wants them to walk away from the experience knowing that the judicial process is fair, and hears both sides.
After a half-hour deliberation, a jury found the wolf guilty of two counts of malicious destruction of property, and two counts of first-degree murder.
“I hear it was contentious back there,” Johnson said, when the jury took longer than most Fairy Tale fact finders to return a verdict.