browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Riley Gardner

Mock Trial Script

Texting While Driving

United States District Court for the Southern District of California

February 2013

(Based on American Bar Association, Division for Public Education text
revised by Kathleen Walford and Janet Cabral, USDC, So. District of California, 2011)

General Information about the Case

This is a criminal action for vehicular manslaughter, arising from a car crash that may have been caused by defendant’s texting while driving.

The cast includes:

* Judge – Marcella

How much trouble can you get into?

How much trouble can you get into?

* Courtroom Deputy (CRD) – Sandra

* Assistant US Attorney (2) – Ashley, Joseph
* Counsel for Defendant (2) – James, Gigi

* Defendant Riley Gardner – Nakia

* Witness, Sidney Young – Evan
* Witness, Javier Perez (Sidney’s cousin) – Sean
* Witness, Tracy Gardner (Defendant’s Mother–Hostile Witness) – Shamira
* Witness, Alex Williams (Defendant’s Neighbor) – Taylor

* Witness, Officer Chris Jones (CHP Officer) – Kadeisha
* Witness, Dr. Jan Smith (Expert Witness) – Sade

* Jurors – Aleaha, Halle, Apriea


Opening Section

At the appointed time:

— jurors should fill jury box and other actors should be seated in the appropriate spots throughout the courtroom.

–the professional Courtroom Deputy will be at her desk

Professional Courtroom

Deputy will call the court to order as judge takes the Bench.

Courtroom Deputy: All rise.

[everyone in courtroom stands up]

This United States District Court for the Southern District of California is now in session. The Honorable _________________ presiding.

[Judge takes seat on bench]

Courtroom Deputy: Please be seated and come to order.

[everyone sits down]

On May 11, 2011 at approximately 10:30 pm, five teens were traveling in a red, 2006 Honda Accord heading southbound on Wells Gate National Parkway on Camp Pendleton. Suddenly, the vehicle careened into the median and crashed into a light pole. One of the back seat passengers, 17-year-old Courtney Walls, was killed in the crash. The front seat passenger, Sidney Young, was seriously injured. No other vehicles were involved. According to Sidney Young and another passenger, the driver, 18-year-old Riley Gardner, was sending text messages on his cell phone while driving. Mr. Gardner has been charged with vehicular manslaughter.

***Comments: The Judge may wish to discuss possible civil liability that also exists and how that would be addressed in a separate trial and could include liability for the defendant’s family.