Department of Defense Education Activity

Pacific East District Pilots Mock Trial Program

SASEBO, JAPAN — June 3, 2022 — Two PAC-East schools competed as prosecutors, defense attorneys, and witnesses in the first Pacific East District Mock Trial competition.

The competition pitted the prosecution team of Ernest J. King against the defense team of Nile C. Kinnick High School.

More than 20 Pacific East students, along with ten JAG Corps attorneys representing all branches of the military and various Pacific bases, participated in this virtual competition.

The mock trial was centered around the fictitious case of defendant Alex Buckley, a former student at Prairie Lake Preparatory Academy, who was charged with having committed the criminal offenses of Aggravated Arson and First-Degree Murder in connection with the death of an acquaintance, Carly Walsh. The Defendant plead not guilty to all charges.

Student attorneys displayed their knowledge of case law by delivering opening statements and closing remarks, conducting direct and cross-examinations of witnesses, entering exhibits to the court and impeaching witnesses, exhibiting court decorum, and displaying an understanding of court proceedings. The trial judge acted in his capacity, ruling on objections, moving the case along, and making the final ruling on the charges.

The virtual case was conducted via Microsoft Teams with the technical collaboration of educational technologists from both King and Kinnick high schools. Parents and other stakeholders were provided with a link so that they could view the trial from their locations.

“I was playing the trial over the speakers in my office, and my colleagues thought that I was watching a real trial,” said DeAngelo Galang, DoDEA Pacific Far East Academic Program Coordinator.

Mock trial in Pacific East was created in the fall of 2013, the result of a strong partnership between school and JAG leaders. The program would not be possible without the support of the following base JAGs and King faculty: Lt. Joseph Horton, Lt. Shauna Morris, Lt. Jason Bentley, Lt. John McGlaughlin, Lt. Matthew Doherty, Lt. Jonathan Wilberscheid, Dr. Lashaunda Norman, Mrs. Deborah Detrick, and Ms. Jade Holley.

Lt. McGlaughlin (CFAS) and Lt. Charles Moore (CFAY) organized a consortium of 12 Western Pacific (WESTPAC) multi-service judge advocates who have dedicated themselves to partnering with DoDEA schools to promote an understanding and appreciation of the American judicial system through mock trial competition and coaching.

Mock Trial coordinators hope to see a greater participation from other DoDEA schools next year.

“I am grateful to our educational leaders for recognizing the advantages of the collaboration between the DoDEA schools and the base JAG Corps,” said Ms. Francine Locker, King mock trial sponsor. “Mock trial provides our students with authentic experiences that will transcend high school into all aspects of their life’s journey. It hones listening, writing, and speaking skills. Students perfect the art of the argument, and they learn to think critically.”

Final tallies were 67.5 for Kinnick and 63.5 for King. Acting Trial Judge, Maj. Timothy Keane, found the accused not guilty.

“The winner could have been determined by a coin flip,” said Daniel Lufkin, Kinnick’s mock trial sponsor.

“Both of our teams acquired meaningful knowledge from the legal professionals that took the time out of their insanely busy schedules to make our experience very rewarding. Our students cannot wait for next year.”

When asked about the mock trial experience, students had a great deal of positive remarks:

“I can see how my ability to construct an argument and provide succinct evidence has tripled,” said Katelyn Guthrie, prosecutor from King. “My speaking and listening skills have increased tremendously, too.”

“This is my second year in mock trial, and I have improved my public speaking and critical thinking skills,” said Anastasia Anderson, prosecutor from King. “I am definitely looking forward to next year!”

As mock trial closes out this year, the sponsors, coaches, and other stakeholders want to congratulate Kinnick High School for garnering the decision and exhibiting the best argument in the first Pacific East Mock Trial Competition.

Courtroom Cobras of E.J. King High School Legal Red Devils of Nile C. Kinnick High School
E.J. King Mock Trial 2022 Kinnick Mock Trial Team 2022
L to R (front): Katelyn Guthrie, Anastasia Anderson, Konnor Swainson, Rebecca Cordero, Francine Locker (Sponsor), L to R (back) LT John McGlaughlin, Lily Talbert, Christan Cordero, Lillian Sheppard, and Allie Sheppard L to R (front):): Zoe Dale, Cyanne Montforte-Smith, Rachel Harnage, Lauren Fernando, Imani Mincey, and Lillian Dale. L to R(back) Annamarie Devey, Mrs. Chlorissa Saint Arbor, Lt. Adam Bentley (JAG Support), Noah Kruse, Katie Hays, Diego Konopke,Lt. Akshay Jakatdar (JAG Support), Lt. Charles Moore (Mock Trial Coach), Alexis Allen, Moira Johnson, Maya Rexrode, Daniel Lufkin (Mock Trial Sponsor) Not Pictured: Aryanna Cunningham and Autumn Molina


JAG coach/liaison Competition Director
Attorney Coaches
Score Keeper #1
Score Keeper #2

LT John McGlaughlin
LT Jonathan Wilberscheid
LT Matthew Doherty
LT Charles Moore
LT Akshay Jakatdar
LT Adam Bentley
Major Timothy Keane
Captain Christine Lagle
Captain Diana Cabili
U.S. Navy, Sasebo, Japan (CFAS) Victim’s Advocate, FFSC
U.S. Navy, Sasebo, Japan (CFAS) Victim’s Advocate, FFSC
U.S. Navy, Sasebo, Japan, (CFAS) Legal Assistance Branch Head
U.S. Navy, Sasebo, Japan (CFAS) Defense Counsel/Branch Head
U.S. Navy, Yokosuka, Japan (CFAY) JAG Support
U.S. Navy, Yokosuka, Japan (CFAY) JAG Support
U.S. Navy, Yokosuka, Japan (CFAY) JAG Support
U.S. Marine Corp. Okinawa (Camp Butler)
U.S. Air Force, Okinawa (Kadena AFB) U.S. Army, South Korea