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Paralegal Club's Trip to the Leighton Criminal Court House

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Eight members of the Paralegal Club (composed of students from the Paralegal Studies Program) took a trip to the Leighton Criminal Court House on Wednesday, July 12, 2017. We arrived and met with Officer Mike Steiner, who proceeded to give us a short tour and lecture about the building itself, the jails that are connected to it, the types of trials which take place, and the general nature of the criminal offenses tried in the Courthouse. 

He then escorted us to the 7th floor of the building and into the Courtroom of Judge Nicholas Ford. Judge Ford was in the process of conducting several status conferences, which the club members where able to observe. Then the Judge came off the bench at a break and came down to the galley where the club members were seated and introduced himself and explained what was going to happen next. He went back up on the bench and several minutes later, a jury was escorted into the Courtroom

The trial concerned a charge of attempted murder of a six year old girl and a 57 year old man. Both were the unintended victims of a gang related shootout. The defendant was a 21 year old man alleged to be part of the gang and one of the shooters. Testimony was taken from a police detective, the Defendant's mother and the defendant himself. We were able to observe the direct examination of the detective, the defendant's mother and the defendant, as well as the cross examination of each. The cross examination of the defendant was particularly interesting as the defendant was a difficult and evasive witness. 

We left the courtroom before the case went to the jury, however Officer Stiener promised to call me and let me know the outcome (we will post the outcome when we hear of it). The club members enjoyed the trial, and were enthusiastic about the trip.