LHNE mock trial

The Lutheran High Northeast mock trial team won a regional competition to advance to the state mock trial event for the second year in a row.

Lutheran High Northeast advanced to the Nebraska State Mock Trial after winning regionals for the second year in a row.

The trial was also held over Zoom for the second year in a row. Despite this, the Lutheran High Northeast team overcame any obstacles that come with competing in a trial over Zoom.

Preston Sunderman, Lutheran High Northeast’s mock trial coach, said the student lawyers and witnesses were put in separate rooms to avoid any feedback with their microphones.

“Some schools tried to have each student have their own computer, which can work,” Sunderman said. “But you have to be careful when your mic is on because it can get feedback. But we've kind of dodged that.”

The mock trial was held in the Lutheran High Northeast library, where the team of seven students competed with three other team over Zoom.

While student lawyers Carleigh Tietz and Esther Molina said they hoped they would be able to compete in the in-person trial this year, they were still proud of their team's accomplishments at regionals.

“We’re making the best of it,” Tietz said.

Sunderman said the trial this year was centered on a vaping party, in which a teen was found dead after using a vape laced with THC and vitamin E acetate.

The Lutheran High Northeast team represented the defendant who was being charged with manslaughter for distributing the vape.

“It's a very interesting topic, especially us being teenagers,” Tietz said.

Sunderman said he hadn’t really heard of a vaping party before, but he thought it was an important topic.

“It brings attention to the dangers (of vaping),” Sunderman said.

At the regional mock trial last year, Lutheran High Northeast represented a teen who was caught with methamphetamine at school.

Lutheran High Northeast competed against 12 other schools at the Nebraska State Mock Trial, which started last Monday.

At the state mock trial, Sunderman said Lutheran High Northeast competed against Ainsworth, Bellevue West and Gering. The Eagles lost against Ainsworth and Bellevue West but won against Gering. They ended up placing 11th at state.

Creighton Prep ended up winning the Nebraska State Mock Trial.

“It was definitely a very close trial,” Molina said.

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