2020 Mock Trial Results Announced  

Centennial High School claimed victory in a close showdown round to win the 2020 Kern County Mock Trial Super Saturday held today in Bakersfield’s Kern County Superior Courts of California.

Sixteen high school teams, and one junior high team, argued the fictitious case of People v. Matsumoto. Centennial High will represent Kern County at the California Mock Trial in March.

Rounding out the top 5 teams were:

Second — Garces Memorial
Third — Liberty
Fourth — Highland
Fifth — Golden Valley

The top two students from each team who consistently performed the best throughout the course of the two-month competition were named to the Honor Court. They were:

BHS — Sidney Frank and Robert Viray
Centennial — Jill Dailey and Aleyna Young
Delano — Olga Rodriguez and Anthony Espinosa
East — Nyssa Combs and Ariel Martinez
Foothill — Cynthia Valencia and Cindy Espinoza
Fruitvale Junior High — Beverly Gruber and Joshua Botello
Garces Memorial — Farah Abumari and Matthew Castanares
Golden Valley — Amariun Tyiska and Gurvir Sidhu
Highland — Andrew Ramirez and Angel Aldaco
Liberty — Annaliese Spielman and Michael Blaine
North — Malynn Thomson and Salem Palmer
Ridgeview — Avneet Sandhu and Tyler Le
Robert F. Kennedy — Megan Reyna and Brenda Magana
Shafter — Joanna Heredia and Marco Martinez
Stockdale — Zara Mubin and Miller McCraw
West — Miranda Aparicio and Julian Argueta

Competing high schools reversed defense and prosecution roles each round and provided witnesses and courtroom officials in the fictitious case of People v. Matsumoto. People v. Matsumoto is the trial of Bailey Matsumoto, the founder of a technology start-up that develops autonomous (self-driving) trucks. Bailey is charged with the murder of Bailey’s spouse, Taylor Matsumoto.

The prosecution claims that on the night of the alleged murder, Bailey provided an already inebriated Taylor with alcohol, then hit Taylor on the head with a golf club, later found in Bailey’s car, causing Taylor to fall into the bathtub and drown. The prosecution claims Bailey intended to murder Taylor and make Taylor’s death look like an accidental drowning. Desi, Bailey’s cousin, placed Bailey in the master bathroom with Taylor the night before Taylor’s body was found. The defense argues that Taylor’s death was not a murder but was instead an unfortunate accident.

Kern County Mock Trial is funded with a grant from the Harry and Ethel West Foundation and is sponsored by the Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Kern County Bar Association, Kern County Superior Courts of California, Kern County Sheriff’s Department and Sheriff’s Reserves.