California mock trial fact sltutation

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Taylor Rodriguez is the star of the new hit television show Newport Beach. The show is about to start shooting its second season. Before the show, Taylor was one of many unknown good- looking people in Los Angeles seeking acting jobs. The show launched Taylor's career, and Taylor is now a well-known {;elebrity. Newport Beach is produced by les Markson, the creator of many hit TV shows. les met Taylor in a coffee shop and cast Taylor for the lead role on the spot.

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14 Vlhile the relationship between Taylor and les started out wonderful and loving, it became 15 strained. Due to all the publicity generated by Newport Beach, Taylor received many

16 movie offers. Taylor's dream had always been to appear on the big screen. Taylortenta­17 tively accepted a role in Blood Froth, a horror movie. Taylor's publicist leaked to the

18 media that Taylor would not be back for the second season of Newport Beach. Jes disap­19 proved, and then they started to spend most of their time apart and slep~ in jifferent rooms. 20 As the marriage neared one year, it looked like it would be over soon.


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35 At Brook's party, Taylor was visibly upset. Taylor spent most of the evening drinking

36 vodka martinis. Taylor even broke from a strict diet by eating chocolate-covered strawber­37 ries at 12:30 a.m. Taylor was not having fun and wanted to leave the party. At 1:15 a.m., 38 Tobie dropped off Taylor at les' mansion.


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Jes and Taylor also quickly developed a romantic relationship and were married within a few months of meeting each other. Taylor moved into Jes' mansion at 2349 Chandler Drive, in the Hollywood Hills. les' estate is kept presentable by a friend and live-in gar­dener named Alex Palmer.

Prior to marrying Jes, Taylor had dated Brook. After moving out to Los Angeles together from Colorado, they had broken up. Through summer and early fall, Taylor began to have thoughts of resuming a relationship with Brook.

On Friday, October 12, Taylor was invited to a smaIl party to celebrate Brook's getting a recurring role on a soap opera les did not want Taylor to go. Tobie, a close friend and costar on Newport Beach, arrived to pick up Taylor for the party. Taylor insisted on going, and les became upset.

Jes remained at home and invited Alex and Stevie to the house. Stevie is an assistant pro­ducer on Newport Beach and an old friend of Jes. They came over, played pool in Jes' game room, and drank beer. At midnight, Alex and Stevie left.

The police were contacted and Detective Green arrived to conduct an investigation. Upon inspecting the body, Green noticed a dark bruise running diagonally across the center of Taylor's forehead. The bruise was rectangular in shape, about I inch wide by 1.5 inches long, and ran from above Taylor's right eyebrow down toward the left eye.

California Mock Trial, People v. Markson



The next afternoon, Taylor was found dead in the garage from carbon-monoxide poison­ing. Taylor was in the cherry-red 1963 Aston Martin X5 convertible that les had bought for Taylor's birthday. The car had its original engine, but had a recently refurbished lamb­skin interior. The custom steering wheel was made of smooth stainless steel. The key was in the ignition in the "on" position and the gas gauge was on empty.
,,1 Detective Green interviewed Jes and Alex. Jes claimed not to have seen Taylor since 10 2 p.m. the night before. Jes claimed to have gone to bed by 12:30 a.m., shortly after the

3 guests had left the mansion. Jes consented to a search of the mansion and the garage.

4 Detective Green found a black ceremonial sword in les' living room. The decorative

5 sword was in a scabbard made of hardwood. Later, Alex allowed Detective Green to

6 search the pool house.


8 [Detective Green searched a storage room next to the pool house. The storage room con-

9 tained mostly Hollywood memorabilia. There was a stack of scripts. The detective found a 10 TV movie script titled Murder by Monoxide, which listed les as producer. In the story, the II lead character is killed by carbon-monoxide poisoning.J


13 Based on the information Detective Green collected from interviews with Alex, Jes, Tobie, 14 Stevie, and Brook and the evidence found at the scene, les was arrested and charged with 15 first- degree murder.



































California Mock Trial, People v,' Markson
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The prosecution charges les Markson with First Degree Murder (California Penal Code §§ 187 and 189)


Only the following physical evidence may be introduced at trial. The prosecution is responsible for bri!lging:

  1. A faithful reproduction of Exhibit A, a diagram of les Markson's Mansion Floor Plan, 2349

Chandler Drive, Hollywood Hills.

  1. A faithful reproduction of Exhibit B, Page 42 of the Script Murder by Monoxide.

  2. A faithful reproduction of Exhibit C, Sword and Scabbard.

4) A faithful reproduction of Exhibit D, Diagram of Taylor Rodriguez's Head Injury. The reproductions should be no larger than 22 inches x 28 inches.


Stipulations shall be considered part of the record. Prosecution and defense stipulate to the follow­mg:

  1. Taylor Rodriguez died from carbon-monoxide poisoning.

  2. Brook and les must be of the same sex and the victim (Taylor) must be the opposite sex..

  3. If the defense's pretrial motion is granted, the bracketed information is excluded from trial, and it may not be used for impeachment purposes.

  4. For the purposes of the Mock Trial and pretrial argument, Exhibit B is the only relevant page of the script, and the absence of the remainder of the script cannot be objected to. The handwriting on the script belongs to les Markson.

  5. Exhibit A is the floor plan of les Markson's mansion; Exhibit C is a representation of the sword and scabbard found in les' mansion; and Exhibit D is a diagram of the Taylor Rodriguez's head injury.

  6. The search of the mansion and garage was a valid search and may not be objected to.

  7. The arrest warrant was based on sufficient probable cause and properly issued.

  8. All statements of the victim fall within the "state of mind» exception to the hearsay rule.

9. Dr. Choi and Dr. Stone are qualified expert witnesses and can testify to each other's statements.

  1. Dr. Choi properly reviewed the lab report, and its absence may not be questioned.

  2. Taylor's Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) at time of death has been established as .15% and can­not be disputed.

  3. All physical evidence and witnesses not provided for in the case packet are unavailable and their availability may not be questioned.

  4. All witness statements were taken in a timely manner

California Mock Trial, People v. Markson
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'2 The following procedures and recommendations provide a format for the presentation of a 3 mock pretrial motion.


5 1. Ask your coordinator if your county will present pretrial arguments before every trial of

6 each round. We urge coordinators to require a pretrial motion hearing in as many

7 rounds as possible, both for its academic benefits and to prepare the winning team for

8 state fmals, where it will be a required part of the competition. Performances will be

9 scored according to the criteria included in this packet.


11 2. Prior to the opening of the pretrial motion arguments, the judge will have read the pre-

12 trial materials provided in the case packet.


14 3. Be as organized as possible in your presentation. Provide clear arguments so the judge

15 can follow and understand your line of reasoning.


11 4. Arguments should be well substantiated with references to any of the pretrial sources

18 provided with the case materials and any common sense or social-interest judgments.

19 Do not ,?e afraid to use strong and persuasive language.


21 5. Use the facts of People v. Marlcson in your argument. Compare them to facts of cases in

22 the pretrial materials that support your position, or distinguish the facts from cases that

23 contradict the conclusion you desire.


25 6. Review the legal arguments to assist you in formulating your own arguments. 26

27 7. Your conclusion should be a short restatement of your strongest arguments. 28

29 8. NOTE: The only motion allowed for the purposes of the competition is the pretrial

30 motion outlined in this case packet.


32 Pretrial Motion and Constitutional Issue

33 This section contains materials and procedures for the preparation of a pretrial motion on 34 an important legal issue. The judge's ruling on the pretrial motion will have a direct

35 bearing on the charges in thistrial and the possible outcome of the trial. The pretrial

36 motion is designed to help students learn about the legal process and legal reasoning.

37 Students will learn how to draw analogies, distinguish a variety of factual situations, and 38 analyze and debate constitutional issues.


40 The pretrial issue involves the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search­41 es and seizures. There is a question of whether Detective Green's search of the storage

42 room adjacent to Alex's pool house was constitutional. If the search was unconstitutional, 43 the An End to Passion script cannot be used at triaL The script and the search of the stor­44 age room are the only Fourth Amendment issues in the case.


46 The Fourth Amendment protects individuals, their cars, and their homes from unreason­47 able police searches. Many police searches, however, are legal. For example, if a.police 48 officer has obtained a valid warrant, he or she is allowed to make a search within the

49 bounds of that warrant.


California Mock Trial, People v. Markson
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.) In this case, the Fourth Amendment issue concerns who can give consent and the scope of 2 consent once it has been given. If valid consent has been given to search the storage room, 3 then the search is constitutional. If the search was outside the scope of consent, then the

4 warrantless search was unconstitutional.


6 The sources cited below will help you determine if Detective Green's search of the storage 7 room is unconstitutional. For trials in which there is no pretrial hearing, the search of the 8 storage room is Constitutional, and all bracketed information can be used during the trial. 9 This pretrial motion is the only allowable motion for the purposes of the competition.


11 Arguments 12

13 The prosecution asserts that the search was reasonable bec~use both Alex and les consented to 14 a search of the storage room. The prosecution contends that les consented to a search of the

15 entire estate, which included the storage room. Even if les did not consent to a search of the

16 storage room, the prosecution argues that Detective Green could have relied on Alex's consent. 17

18 The defense claims the search was unreasonable. The defense argues that les did not con­19 sent to a search of the storage room and that Alex could not have given_ coJ!Scnt for this

20 room. While the defense admits that les consented to a search of the house and garage, the 21 defense asserts that the scope of the consent did not encompass the storage room.


23 Sources

24 The sources for the pretrial motion arguments consist of excerpts from the U.S.

25 Constitution, California Penal Code, California Vehicle Code, California Jury Instructions, 26 edited court opinions, and the Mock Trial Fact Situation.


28 The U.S. Constitution protects individuals against unreasonable searches and seizures. Over the 29 last 200 years, the Supreme Court and lower courts have interpreted exactly what is ''unreason­30 able." Decisions from the U.s. Supreme Court, the California Supreme Court, and the

31 California Court of Appeals are binding on California trial courts and must be followed.


33 Cases from all circuits, including the Ninth Circuit, and cases from federal district courts 34 and from other state supreme courts, as well as legal commentary, can be used for persua­35 sive purposes, but are not binding on a California judge. In developing arguments for this 36 Mock Trial, both sides should compare or distinguish the facts in the cited cases from one 37 another and from the facts in People v. Marlcson.


39 Legal Authorities 40 Constitutional


42 U.S. Constitution~ Amendment N

43 The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against 44 unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but 45 upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the

46 place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.




California Mock Trial, People v. Markson

1 Statutory '2

3 California Penal Code § 187. Murder defined

4 (a) Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. 5

6 California Penal Code § 188. Malice dermed

7 Such malice may be express or implied. It is express when there is manifested a deliberate 8 intention unlawfully to take away the life of a fell.ow creature. It is implied, when no con­9 siderable provocation appears, or when the circumstances attending the killing show an

10 abandoned and malignant heart. 11

12 California Penal Code § 189. Degrees of murder

13 All murder which is perpetrated by means of a destructive device or explosive, a weapon of 14 mass destruction, knowing use of ammunition designed primarily to penetrate metal or annor, 15 poison, lying in wait, torture, or by any other kind of willful, deliberate; and premeditated

16 killing .. .is murder of the first degree. All other kinds of murders are of the second degree.


18 Jury Instructions 19

20 California Jury Instructions, Criminal (CAUIC 8.11) 21 Malice DefIned

22 "Malice" may be express or implied. Malice is express when there is manifested an intention 23 unlawfully to kill a human being. Malice is implied when the killing resulted from an intention­24 al act, the natural consequences of the act are dangerous to human life, and the act was deliber­25 ately performed with knowledge of the danger to, and with conscious disregard for, human life. 26

27 California Jury Instructions, Criminal (CAUIC 8.20)

28 Deliberate and Premeditated Murder All murder which is perpetrated by any kind of will­29 ful, deliberate and premeditated killing with express malice aforethought is murder of the 30 first degree ...


32 To constitute a deliberate and premeditated killing, the slayer must weigh and consider the 33 question ofkiUing and the reasons for and against such a choice and, having in mind the 34 consequences, [he] [she] decides to and does kill.


36 Federal Cases 37

38 Yon Eichelberger v. U.S., 252 F.2d -184 (9th Cir. 1958)

39 Facts: Defendant was storing boxes at an acquaintance's garage for an indefInite period. 40 The acquaintance summoned the police and had them search the boxes. The police found 41 guns inside the boxes. The defendant moved to exclude the evidence of the guns because 42 the search was without a warrant and he did not consent.


44 Issue: Could the acquaintance give consent to search the boxes or was the defendant's con­45 sent necessary?


47 Holding: The acquaintance's consent was enough. The garage was entirely under the

48 acquaintance's control, and he alone had a key. The defendant was not a lessor, an owner, 49 or an occupant of the premise and therefore his consent was not necessary.

California Mock Trial, People v. Markson
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1 Stoner v. California, 376 U.S. 483 (1962)

2 Facts: Stoner was suspected of robbing a bank. Police learned that he was staying at a hotel. A 3 clerk at the hotel consented to a search of his room. The police found a gun in the room. Stoner 4 moved to exclude the evidence because it was obtained during an unreasonable search.


6 Issue: Could the clerk give consent to the search of the defendant's hotel room? 7

8 Holding: No. The hotel clerk had no authority ~o give consent to a pol~ search. and the police 9 had no reason to believe the clerk had" such authority. Even though the clerk could enter the

10 room to perform his duties. he could not consent to a police search. It did not matter that the 11 police officer believed the clerk had authority if such a belief was not objectively reasonable. 12

13 Katz v.. U.s., 389 U.S. 347 (1967)

14 Facts: The police, without getting a warrant. inserted a wiretap into a public phone booth 15 in order to listen to defendant's calls. The defendant placed bets from the phone in viola­16 tion of federal law. The defendant moved to have the recorded conversations excluded 17 from the evidentiary record.


19 Issue: Was the police recording of defendanfs calls a search? 20

21 Holding: Yes. The court defined a search as any governmental intrusion into something in 22 which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. Here, the defendant had a reason­23 able expectation of privacy in the booth. The officer's recording of his conversation consti­24 tuted a search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment The police did not have a war-

25 rant, probable cause to arrest, consent, or any other justification for the search. Therefore, 26 the search was unconstitutional.


28 U.S. v. Matlock, 415 U.S. 164 (1974)

29 Facts: The police came to the defendant's house to investigate a bank robbery. Mrs. Graff, 30 who shared the house and a bedroom with the defendant, answered the door. She consent­31 ed to a search, and police found money in the bedroom closet. The defendant claimed the 32 search was unconstitutional and the money was inadmissible.


34 Issue: Could Mrs. Graff consent to a search of defendant's house? 35

36 Holding: Yes. Mrs. Graff had joint access and control of the room and therefore could con­37 sent to a search. It did not matter that the house belonged to the defendant of that he did 38 not give Mrs. Graff the authority to consent to a search. Co-occupants can consent to

39 searches of common areas.


41 Illinois v. Rodriguez., 497 U.S. 177 (1990)

42 Facts: Gail Fischer came to police and told t~em that the defendant had drugs in "our 43 apartment.'" Gail brought the police to the apartment and opened the door with a key.

44 There were drugs in plain view and the police arrested the defendant. Later, it was deter­45 mined that Gail did not have joint access or control over the apartment, and the defendant 46 moved to have the drugs taken out of the evidentiary record.


48 Issue: Is the search constitutional if based on consent by someone who did not have access 49 or control over the apartment?

California Mock Trial, People v. Markson
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I Holding: Yes, because the police reasonably believed Gail had joint access. The Fourth

2 Amendment only protects against unreasonable searches. Gail had a key, had belongings in the 3 apartment. and claimed to live there. The police had an objectively reasonable basis of believing 4 that Gail could give consent to a search. It did not matter that the belief turned out to be wrong. 5

6 Florida It Jimeno, 500 U.S. 248 (1991)

7 Facts: A husband and wife were pulled over for a traffic infraction. The officer said he

8 believed they were carrying narcotics and asked to search the car. The husband cons,ented. 9 During the course of the search, the officer found a paper bag in the car. After opening it,

10 the officer found cocaine. The defendant moved to suppress the cocaine on the grounds 11 that the defendant did not specifically consent to a search of the bag.


13 Issue: Did the defendant's general consent of the car include consent to search the bag? 14

15 Holding: Yes. It was objectively reasonable for the policeman to believe that the scope of

16 defendant's consent included the paper bag. The officer told the defendant that he was looking 17 for narcotics, so it was reasonable that the officer would want to look in small containers. The 18 defendant needed to tell the officer ifhe did not want the officer to search the bag.


20 u.s. v. Pena, 143 F.3d 1363 (10th Cir. 1998)

21 Facts: The defendant was staying in a hotel room when police arrived and asked to search the 22 room. The defendant said, "Go ahead." The officers found a couple of marijuana cigarettes in 23 the bathroom ceiling and arrested the defendant. The defendant claimed that he had not con­24 sentedtothe search of the bathroom and therefore the cigarettes were inadmissible.

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