SUPERIOR COURT OF TEXAS, COUNTY OF TEMPLE

Mock Trial Script - The Case of a Stolen Car

Roles:

  1. Bailiff
  2. Judge
  3. District Attorney
  4. Public Defender
  5. Clerk
  6. Deputy District Attorney
  7. Guide
  8. Car owner
  9. Court Reporter
  10. Police Officer
  11. Expert
  12. Defendant
  13. Jurors (all those who are not assigned one of the above roles is a juror)

MOCK TRIAL SCRIPT

Bailiff: All rise. [Wait for everyone-except the judge- to stand.] Department One of the Superior Court is now in session. Judge (first name) presiding. Please be seated.

Judge: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Calling the case of the People of the State of Texas versus (defendant’s first name). Are both sides ready?

District Attorney: Ready for the People, Your Honor.

Public Defender: Ready for the defense, Your Honor

Judge: Will the clerk please swear in the jury?

Clerk: Will the jury please stand and raise your right hand? [Wait for everyone to stand.] Do each of you swear that you will fairly try the case before this court, and that you will return a true verdict according to the evidence and the instructions of the court, so help you, God? Please say “I do”. [Wait for jurors to say “I do.”] You may be seated.

Deputy DA: Opening Statement __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Public Defender: Opening Statement __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Judge: The prosecution may call its first witness.

Deputy DA: The People call the owner of the car. [Bailiff takes the witness to the witness stand.]

Clerk: Please stand. Raise your right hand. Do you promise that the testimony you shall give in the case before this court shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

Car Owner: I do.

Clerk: Please state your first and last name. 

Car Owner: [Give your first and last name.]

Clerk: You may be seated.

Reporter: Please spell your last name for the record.

Deputy DA: [Stand up.] (first name of car owner), where do you work?

Car Owner: I own Martinez Car Sales.

Deputy DA: What is the address of your business?

Car Owner: 102 Main Street, Martinez.

Deputy DA: Were you working there on February 8th?

Car Owner: Yes, I was.

Deputy DA: Was one of the cars you had for sale a 2004 red Corvette license number 5CBX239?

Car Owner: Yes.

Deputy DA: Did you see the car on the lot on February 8th?

Car Owner: Yes. The car was there when we closed that night.

Deputy DA: Did you see the car again on February 9th?

Car Owner: No. It was missing when I got to work that morning.

Deputy DA: Where were the keys to the Corvette when you left on February 8th?

Car Owner: They were locked in the sales office.

Deputy DA: Where were the keys when you came back the next morning?

Car Owner: They were still locked in the sales office.

Deputy DA: Did you file a stolen car report with the police?

Car Owner: Yes, I did.

Deputy DA: Had you given anyone, including the defendant, permission to take or drive the Corvette?

Car Owner: No, I did not.

Deputy DA: Thank you, I have no further questions.

Judge: Does the defense have any questions?

Public Defender: Not at this time, Your Honor.

Judge: The witness is excused. [Wait for the witness to leave the stand.] The prosecution may call the next witness.

Deputy DA: The People call the arresting officer. [Bailiff takes the witness to the witness stand.]

Clerk: Please stand. Raise your right hand. Do you promise that the testimony you shall give in the case before this court shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

Officer: I do.

Clerk: Please state your first and last name.

Officer: [Give your first and last name.]

Clerk: You may be seated.

Reporter: Please spell your last name for the record.

Deputy DA: [Stand up.] Officer, where do you work?

Officer: I have worked for the Texas Highway Patrol for the past ten years.

Deputy DA: Were you on duty on the afternoon of February 9th?

Officer: Yes. I was patrolling the freeway between San Ramon and Martinez.

Deputy DA: Did you observe a red 2004 Corvette that afternoon?

Officer: Yes, I did.

Deputy DA: What was the license number?

Officer: 5CBX239.

Deputy DA: Where did you first see the car?

Officer: Going north, near the exit to Highway 4.

Deputy DA: Why did you notice the car?

Officer: It fit the description of a car which was on our list of stolen vehicles.

Deputy DA: Did you stop the Corvette?

Officer: Yes. I turned on my lights and siren and pulled the car over.

Deputy DA: Where did you stop the car?

Officer: About half a mile before the downtown Martinez exit.

Deputy DA: What did you do after the car stopped?

Officer: I ordered the driver to step out and I arrested [him/her.]

Deputy DA: Do you see the driver here in court?

Officer: Yes, the record will show that the witness has identified the defendant sitting at the defense table [Point to defendant.]

Deputy DA: After you arrested the defendant, did you search the car?

Officer: Yes.

Deputy DA: What did you find?

Officer: I found a set of keys in the ignition.

Deputy DA: [Bring the script and keys with you. Show the keys to the witness.] Are these the keys you found?

Officer: [Look at keys.] Yes.

Deputy DA: Your Honor, I would like to have these keys marked as people's exhibit number one and ask that they be admitted into evidence. [Give keys to clerk who will put a sticker on them and hand them back.]

Judge: Does the defense have any objection?

Public Defender: No, Your Honor.

Judge: The keys will be admitted as People’s exhibit number one.

Deputy DA: Officer, was there anything unusual about these keys?

Officer: Yes. Based on my experience as a highway patrol officer, they looked like shaved master keys.

Deputy DA: Can you please tell the jury what shaved master keys are?

Officer: Yes. They are keys that have been filed down so that they will start all models of a type of car. They are used as tools to steal cars.

Deputy DA: I have no further questions.

Judge: Does the defense wish to ask any questions?

Public Defender: [Stand up.] Yes, Your Honor.

Public Defender: Officer, when you pulled the car over, you ordered my client to turn off the ignition, didn’t you?

Officer: Yes, I did.

Public Defender: So, you saw the defendant touch the keys?

Officer: Yes.

Public Defender: Do you know how far Martinez Car Sales is from the downtown Martinez freeway exit?

Officer: Yes, it’s about half a mile from there.

Public Defender: Thank you. I have no further questions.

Judge: The witness is excused. [Wait for the witness to leave the stand.] Does the prosecution have any other witnesses?

Deputy DA: Yes, Your Honor. The People call the fingerprint examiner. [Bailiff takes the witness to the witness stand.]

Clerk: Please stand. Raise your right hand. Do you promise that the testimony you shall give in the case now before this court shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

Expert: I do.

Clerk: Please state your first and last name.

Expert: [Give your first and last name.]

Clerk: You may be seated.

Reporter: Please spell your last name for the record.

Deputy DA: [Stand up.] (first name), where do you work?

Expert: I am employed by the Temple County Sheriff's Department. I have been a qualified fingerprint examiner for 10 years.

Deputy DA: [Take script and keys to the witness stand and show witness the keys.] Have you ever seen these keys before?

Expert: [Look at keys.] Yes. I was asked to check them for fingerprints at my lab.

Deputy DA: Did you find any fingerprints on the keys as a result of your testing?

Expert: Yes. There were several clear print impressions.

Deputy DA: Were you able to identify the defendant’s prints on the keys?

Expert: Yes. The prints I found on two of the keys were identical to the fingerprints taken from the defendant. 

Deputy DA: Thank you. I have no further questions and no other witnesses, Your Honor.

Judge: Does the defense have any questions?

Public Defender: [Stand up.] Yes, Your Honor. (first name of expert), as a matter of fact, you also found fingerprints on the keys which did not belong to the defendant, didn't you?

Expert: That is correct.

Public Defender: To whom do they belong?

Expert: I don't know.

Public Defender: Thank you. I have no further questions.

Judge: The witness is excused. [Wait for the witness to leave the stand.]

Deputy DA: Your Honor, the People rest their case.

Judge: Is the defense ready with its case?

Public Defender: Yes, Your Honor. I call the defendant. [Bailiff takes the defendant to the witness stand.]

Clerk: Please stand. Raise your right hand. Do you promise that the testimony you shall give in the case now before this court shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

Defendant: I do.

Clerk: Please state your name.

Defendant: [Give your first and last name.]

Clerk: You may be seated.

Reporter: Please spell your last name for the record.

Public Defender: (first name of defendant), where were you on the afternoon of February 9?

Defendant: I was at the 7-11 Store on South Main Street in Walnut Creek.

Public Defender: Did you see a 2004 red Corvette at that location?

Defendant: Yes. A guy pulled into the parking lot driving it.

Public Defender: Did you talk to the driver?

Defendant: Yes, I asked him how fast it was.

Public Defender: What did he say?

Defendant: He said to get in the car and he would show me.

Public Defender: What did you do then?

Defendant: I got in the car and he drove onto the freeway going south toward Manville. He was driving really fast.

Public Defender: Do you know what the driver’s name was?

Defendant: Yes. He told me his name was Rick.

Public Defender: What was his last name?

Defendant: I don't know. He never told me.

Public Defender: Had you ever met him before?

Defendant: No.

Public Defender: Did he tell you where he got the car?

Defendant: He said he had stolen the car.

Public Defender: When did he tell you that?

Defendant: When we were on the freeway.

Public Defender: How far did you ride with him?

Defendant: To San Ramon. He didn't stop before then.

Public Defender: What happened when you reached San Ramon?

Defendant: He said he was getting out and I could have the car.

Public Defender: Did you take the car at that time?

Defendant: Yes.

Public Defender: Where did you go?

Defendant: I started to drive to Martinez so I could return the car.

Public Defender: How did you know where to return it?

Defendant: Rick told me he took it from a car lot in Martinez.

Public Defender: Where were you when the officer arrested you?

Defendant: On the freeway, just before the exit to downtown Martinez.

Public Defender: [Take keys up to the stand and show them to the defendant.] Do these keys belong to you?

Defendant: [Look at keys.] No.

Public Defender: Have you ever seen them before?

Defendant: Yes. They were in the Corvette.

Public Defender: Did you touch them?

Defendant: Yes, when I turned the car off after the officer stopped me.

Public Defender: Thank you, (name of defendant). I have no further questions and no other witnesses, Your Honor.

Judge: Does the prosecution have any questions?

Deputy DA: [Stand up.] Yes, Your Honor. (name of defendant), what did this "Rick" look like?

Defendant: I don't remember exactly. He had dark hair.

Deputy DA: What kind of clothes was he wearing?

Defendant: I'm not sure. Jeans, I think, and a t-shirt.

Deputy DA: So, you just got into this car with someone that you didn’t know and had never even seen before?

Defendant: Yes. I had never been in a Corvette before.

Deputy DA: Did it occur to you at any time to call the police?

Defendant: Sure. But there wasn't a phone where we stopped, and I don’t have a cell phone. Once I started back, I just kept driving.

Deputy DA: You wanted to drive the Corvette because it was a fast car, didn’t you?

Defendant: I guess so.

Deputy DA: You knew the car was stolen at the time you were driving it, didn’t you?

Defendant: Yes.

Deputy DA: Thank you. I have no further questions.

Judge: The witness is excused. [Wait for defendant to leave the stand.] Does the defense rest?

Public Defender: [Stand up.] Yes, Your Honor.

Judge: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I am now going to read to you the law that you must follow in deciding this case.

To prove the crime charged against the defendant, the prosecution must prove three things to you:

First, that the defendant drove or took a car belonging to someone else;

Second, that the owner did not give the defendant permission to drive or take the car; and

Third, that the defendant intended to take away the owner’s right to have the car, either permanently or temporarily.

If each of you believes that the prosecution proved all three of these things beyond a reasonable doubt, then you should find the defendant guilty. But if you believe the prosecution did not prove any one of these things beyond a reasonable doubt, then you must find the defendant not guilty. 

Proof beyond a reasonable doubt does not mean beyond all possible doubt. It means that you must consider all of the evidence and that you are very sure that the charge is true.

Judge: Are you ready with final arguments?

Deputy DA: Yes, Your Honor.

Public Defender: Yes, Your Honor.

Deputy DA: Closing Statement

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Public Defender: Closing Statement

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