**Teen Court will be in session September 1, 2016

Author Archive:Ronda Manuel

ByRonda Manuel

2016 Awards & Recognition Banquet

Celebration of Our Volunteers

Nearly 60 guests joined us tonight for the first annual Awards and Recognition Banquet, making it an evening to be remembered! Board Members, Volunteer Judges and parents alike joined us as we celebrated the accomplishments and pain staking efforts of our committed and enthusiastic volunteers. Without their commitment to Teen Court, the program could not exist. Thank you all for giving your time and dedication to making Teen Court possible! On a personal note, I just wanted to say that I had no idea how much these individuals would mean to me when I started volunteering last year. I am extremely grateful to have been able to be a part of their lives and witness their accomplishments. Thank you for all that you do!!

It is with great excitement and appreciation that we announce tonight’s categories and award winners:

Best Defense Attorney Nominees

  • Austin
  • Ben
  • Josh
  • Trent
Best Defense Attorney: Trent

Best Defense Attorney: Trent

Best Prosecuting Attorney Nominees

  • Blaise
  • David
  • Mitchell
  • Vaneza
Best Prosecuting Attorney: Vaneza

Best Prosecuting Attorney: Vaneza

Best Attorney-in-Training Nominees

  • Alexis
  • Chloe
  • Ishmael
  • Kati
  • Nataly
  • Tony
Ishmael

Best Attorney-in-Training: Ishmael

Best in Deliberation Skills Nominees

  • Allison
  • Brock
  • Daymonique
  • James
  • La’Daesha
  • Tristan
Allison

Best in Deliberation Skills: Allison

Miss/Mr. Congeniality Award Nominees

  • Allison
  • La’Daesha
  • Nataly
  • Reagan
  • Saige
  • Shayla
063

Miss Congeniality: Nataly, pictured with Daymonique

Our Bashful Award Nominees

  • Avontae
  • Brennan
  • Brock
  • Chloe
  • Gunner
  • Jennifer
  • Justin
065

Our Bashful Award Winner: Chloe

 Our Chatterbox Award Nominees

  • Allison
  • Daymonique
  • Saige
  • Zaria
Saige

Our Chatterbox Award Winner: Saige

Superior Attendance Awards

  • Austin
  • Nataly
  • Trent

Out of a possible 28 Thursdays, 8 Training Sessions, Mock Trials and Promotional Events, the above volunteers achieved 27 Thursdays, Training Sessions and Promotional Events! Thank you for your     dedication!

IMG_3153

Superior Attendance: Nataly, Trent and Austin

Outstanding Volunteer Awards

  • Alexis
  • Allison
  • Avontae
  • Brennan
  • Brock
  • Daymonique
  • Endure
  • Estrrya
  • Gunner
  • James
  • Jennifer
  • Justin
  • La’Daesha
  • Nicholas
  • Reagan
  • Tony
  • Tristan
  • Victoria
  • Zaria

To our Outstanding Volunteers who intently listen to each case as it is presented, offer their insights and opinions in discussing the case during deliberation, and never fail to deliver a fair and just sentence…we salute you!! Thank you so much!

IMG_3150

Allison, Brennan, Avontae, Brock, Daymonique, Estrrya, Jennifer, La’Daesha, Reagan, Tony

Longevity Awards

  • Alexis
  • Allison
  • David
  • Josh
  • Naomi
  • Reagan
  • Shayla
  • Trent
  • Vaneza
  • Zaria

Longevity Awards were presented to those volunteers that have committed their time and have dedicated themselves to the Teen Court program for two to five years. Thank you so much for your dedication and involvement in the program! You are greatly appreciated!

IMG_3141

Josh, Allison, David, Naomi, Reagan, Shayla, Trent, and Zaria

The Court Clerk Award

  • Naomi

Naomi has stood by the Director’s side during court sessions, keeping court rooms and case files organized and insuring Judges, Attorney’s and Defendants are in their place in time for proceedings! Bless you for all of your hard work!

Naomi

Best Court Clerk ever: Naomi

Scholarship Presentation

  • Alexis
  • David
  • Naomi
  • Vaneza

To our Seniors, Class of 2016, we congratulate you on such a great accomplishment! May all of your dreams come true with happiness and success in your future!

IMG_3159

Director, Marcia Frazier, with David, Naomi and Vaneza. Unfortunately, Alexis was unable to attend.

Judge Presentation

  • Mr. Darron Hubbard
  • Mr. Edwin Lee
  • Mr. John Kinslow
  • Mr. Jon Kotilnek
  • Ms. Lauren LaMontagne
  • Ms. Natasha Lodholz
  • Ms. Olivia Haigler
  • Ms. Anderal Ward

Not only do our Judges volunteer their time to reside on the bench and hear cases to insure that a fair and impartial sentence was given, but they give their time to guide and instruct our Attorney’s to help in developing their skills. This mentoring is invaluable and priceless to our volunteers who have aspirations to be an attorney. Thank you so very much for all that you do for our volunteers and the program!

Judges

Darron Hubbard, Edwin Lee, Natasha Lodholz, Olivia Haigler

IMG_3097

Natasha Lodholz, Joh Kotilnek, Edwin Lee, Anderal Ward and Lauren LaMontagne front and center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is with extreme gratitude that we thank everyone that makes a contribution to the Teen Court program! “Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.”-Sherry Anderson

Other photos of this event may be seen on our Facebook page!

 

ByRonda Manuel

Big Bad Wolf Stands Trial

IMG_2957The court room was packed Thursday evening as the Big Bad Wolf stood trial for breaking the window of Grandma’s home in Grimm County, Teencourtia. The preliminary hearing was being held to determine if Mr. Wolf’s Miranda rights were violated during questioning by the arresting officer, Officer Ward.

The Miranda warning states, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.” The Miranda warning is intended to protect the suspect’s Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer self-incriminating questions.

IMG_2987

Ms. Anderal Ward, (Officer Ward)

Officer Ward stated in her testimony that upon arriving at the scene, she was able to follow a trail of wolf prints from Grandma’s home that lead her to Mr. Wolf. After briefly speaking with Mr. Wolf, Officer Ward invited him to the police station to continue their conversation, in which Mr. Wolf willingly obliged.

IMG_3046

Mr. Jon Kotilnek (Prosecution); Mr. Edwin Lee (Mr. Wolf)

It was during his conversation at the police station with Officer Ward, that Mr. Wolf mentioned that he was at Grandma’s house earlier in the day and that he had in fact broken the window at Grandma’s house in order to follow his forest friends inside. After hearing this statement made by Mr. Wolf, Officer Ward blocked the door, taking away Mr. Wolf’s ability to leave on his own free will. It was not until later in the conversation that Officer Ward read Mr. Wolf his Miranda rights and placed him under arrest.

IMG_3070

Ms. Natasha Lodholz (Defense)

Defense Attorney, Ms. Natasha Lodholz, argued that this statement was inadmissible because the Miranda Warning was not given prior to Mr. Wolf being interrogated in custody; however, the Prosecuting Attorney, Mr. Jon Kotilnek, argued that Mr. Wolf was not in fact in custody because he willingly followed Officer Ward to the police station and voluntarily gave his statement.

IMG_3072

Ms. Lauren LaMontagne (Honorable Judge)

Before the jury’s deliberation, Honorable Judge Lauren LaMontagne reminded them that the definition of custody means formal arrest or the deprivation of freedom to an extent associated with formal arrest and that interrogation means explicit questioning or actions that are reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response. If someone’s Fifth Amendment rights are violated, then you must suppress the statement given as a result of the violation.

Approximately thirty Teen Court volunteers were split into three juries for deliberation on the case in order to decide if in fact Mr. Wolf’s Miranda rights were violated and whether or not his statements to Officer Ward would be admissible in court.

Jury #1

Jury #1

After a lengthy deliberation, the trial ended in a hung jury with 1/2 of the jury members believing the statement should be allowed and 1/2 of the jury members believing the statement should be suppressed.

Jury #2

Jury #2

Which side of the jury would you be on? Was he held in custody? Was he being interrogated? Was he free to leave? Were Mr. Wolf’s Miranda rights violated? Only you can decide!

Jury #3

Jury #3

ByRonda Manuel

Law Day 2016

May 1st is Law Day! Know your rights!

The wording that is used when an individual is read the Miranda Warning, aka ‘Mirandized,’ is clear and direct:

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?” MirandaWarning.org

In honor of this years theme, Miranda: More Than Words, our volunteer judges will be presenting a mock trial for our volunteers at the Comanche County Courthouse this Thursday, May 5th, in lieu of court sessions. This is an awesome opportunity and we are extremely grateful!

ByRonda Manuel

Open Streets 2016

There was a great day to be had at Open Streets today! So many things to do and we had such a great turn out! Thank you to Fit Kids of Southwest Oklahoma for allowing us to participate.

20160423_125521

Many, many thanks to our volunteers, Austin, Tony, Natalie, Chloe and Zaria for taking time out of their own busy days to join us and lend their assistance with Bubble Painting and recruiting! The bubbles were a huge success and it was such a joy to watch.

 

IMG_4758

I am excited to say that we recruited several new volunteers today and look forward to seeing them next week!

Have a great weekend!

 

ByRonda Manuel

How Teen Court Has An Impact On Its Volunteers

We were so honored to receive the following letter today from a previous volunteer, board member, and judge Carlo LaMonica who is now an Attorney in Pennsylvania. His words express the passion that we all feel for the Teen Court program and the impact that it has for youth in Comanche County.

Letter of Appreciation (pdf version)

Letter of AppreciationLetter of Appreciation

 

ByRonda Manuel

United Way Partner Agency Fair

Our participation in the 2016 United Way Partner Agency Fair was a great success and a lot of fun!

Many thanks to our volunteers, Austin and Tony, and future volunteer, Colyer, for their participation and assistance at the event.

Other non-profit agencies such as CASA of Southwest Oklahoma, the Lawton Food Bank, Hearts That Care Volunteer Health Clinic, Marie Detty Youth and Family Services, and Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc. participated in the event, educating the surrounding community on programs available to them and how they could get involved.

ByRonda Manuel

Teen Court Holds Mock Trial Over Bullying

Teen Court Holds Mock Trial Over Bullying

LAWTON, Okla._The Lawton Teen Court held a mock trial on bullying at Almor West Elementary School Thursday.

The theme featured cameos from a few favorite holiday characters. Santa’s reindeer who, as you know, were mean to Rudolph set the stage for a mock trial over bullying.

“Show them that bullying is wrong. You’re not supposed to bully people. Teach them a lesson they understand with Rudolph and the other reindeer. If we can teach them that bullying is wrong at a young age, we can irradiate bullying completely,” Ben Bolin, a junior at MacArthur High School, explained.

Bolin also recommended that children older than 12 join Teen Court so they can make a positive impact in their lives and the community.

Thursday, 12/10/2015 – 7:00 pm KSWO
ByRonda Manuel

Vixen on the Naughty List

Trial proves bullying is no reindeer game.

The defense for longtime reindeer and member of Santa Claus’ beloved sleigh-pulling team, Vixen, was not good.

His trial, conducted Thursday afternoon at Almor West Elementary School, concluded following testimony from multiple eye-witnesses, including Mr. Claus himself, and the jury determined he was unequivocally guilty of “un-reindeer-like behavior” for ostracizing and bullying Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The students at Almor West helped the panel of reindeer jurors determine his punishment, sentencing Vixen to the maximum and suspending him from pulling Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve to send a clear message  bullying friends is unacceptable.

Fourteen volunteers from Teen Court, a group of local youth volunteers who try and sentence young offenders facing charges in the Comanche County juvenile courts, conducted the mock trial presentation before the elementary school students, playing the roles of the all-star reindeer team, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and the lawyers and judges who represented Vixen and Rudolph.

The case began when a group of reindeer were spotted laughing at Rudolph’s red nose, calling him names and shoving him in the barn prior to Christmas Eve. A concerned Dasher notified Santa, and Sheriff Rein Deere arrested the culprit Vixen.

Dasher and Santa both testified they witnessed Vixen shoving Rudolph and making fun of him, even though Santa said both reindeer are typically well-behaved. Dasher said this isn’t the first time Vixen has been mean to another, and the defendant said during direct examination that it’s okay to be mean to others “if they’re different.”

The victim corroborated all the testimony before the closing arguments. Both attorneys essentially concluded that what Vixen did was wrong, and he should be punished.

The audience agreed Vixen should face the harshest punishment and ordered him to serve four jury duty sessions, write an apology, perform 40 hours of barn cleaning service and attend classes on how to be a kind reindeer.

Fri, 12/11/2015 – 3:26am Malinda Rust, SWOKnews.com
JOIN US for a day of giving -314 Days 0 Hours 35 Minutes 27 Seconds
Donate Now