Our Lady of Victory students go to trial with 'The Outsiders' (w/video)
Feb. 1, 2014 at 10 p.m.
Updated Jan. 31, 2014 at 8:01 p.m.
Black smears covered Taylor Seerden's eyebrows as she approached the witness stand.
Taylor, 14, was in character as Darrel "Darry" Curtis, from S.E. Hinton's "The Outsiders."
In the book "The Outsiders," a young high school student, Johnny Cade, accidentally stabs another student, Robert Shelton, after fearing for his friend's life.
Cade, played by Our Lady of Victory Catholic School eighth-grader Aaron Barrios, took the stand as a defendant in a Victoria County courthouse as part of the school's mock trial project.
The afternoon sun shined through stained-glass windows into the courtroom as the students conducted law and order.
"I have learned that court is very stressful," Taylor said. "I love this, and it is so much fun."
St. Joseph High School seniors took part in the mock trial, serving as the jury.
Harrison High, 17, sat next to fellow St. Joseph seniors in the gated, wooden jury seats.
"It's been really cool getting to take part in this," Harrison said. "Most people I know don't get to do this before they get called to jury duty."
Once the jury returned with its verdict, Victoria County Assistant District Attorney Eli Garza, who played the judge, proclaimed that the defendant was not found guilty.
Cheers consumed the courtroom, parents clapped happily for their children on the defense side, and Cade walked away a free man.
"I was confident about the verdict," Aaron, who played Cade, said. "We had some pretty good attorneys on our side."