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Opening Statement (defense IS)

Mock Trial 2014-2015


Andy and Lee Park v. Hayden Duran

May it please the court, your honor, opposing counsel, members of the jury.
Two victims, one tragic accident. Two children, a boy and a girl, were the closest of friends since
the age of 5, and spent many days together playing games and having fun. And on August 18th
2010, it wasnt supposed to be any different. But the circumstances and the conditions of that day
escalated into what became a tragic accident, an unexpected and unintentional accident. On
August 18th, the two curious children found themselves in an empty house without parental
supervision. They found themselves with an opportunity to open an easily accessible safe. They
also found themselves with a gun and began to play with it. Neither child had seen a real gun
before. Neither child had touched a gun before. Neither child knew how to handle a gun
appropriately. As a result, when both children were watching cartoons, the girl carelessly tossed
the gun to the boy behind her. And when the boy caught it, it went off and ended the girls life in
a split second, a tragic, but unintentional accident. That girl was Sydney Park and that boy was
Jesse Duran.
Today, the plaintiff will try to illustrate this unexpected accident as an intentional shooting and
shift all the blame to Hayden Duran, the father of Jesse Duran, but members of the jury, the
plaintiff has the burden of proof and as you to listen to the facts and testimony today, you will
find the plaintiff cannot meet it and that the preponderance of evidence will demonstrate that this
incident was truly an accident.
During todays trial, you will first hear from:
Officer Dale Williams, a seasoned police officer, who arrived at the Parks home after receiving
a call from dispatch. He will tell of what his observations were at the scene and how he
proceeded to conduct an investigation by securing the scene, collecting evidence, and
interviewing witnesses.
Dr. Logan Bashir, an expert in the field of criminal law and psychology, who analyzed Jesse
Durans situation after the gun was fired and found that Jesse Duran showed true remorse for
what happened. Dr. Bashir will also highlight how difficult it is to determine what truly
happened that day.
After, Jesse Duran, the only person present during the accident, will tell you how the day of
August 18th passed. You will hear testimony that Sydney Park told him about the gun and the
safe combination, wanting to play with it. Together, they played with the gun. Together, they
loaded the gun. And when Sydney Park carelessly tossed the gun, causing it to go off, Jesse
Duran was in shock when his dear friend became victim to a tragic accident.
Hayden Duran will then tell you of how much his son, Jesse, treasured his friendship with
Sydney Park. And though Jesse Duran did play violent videogames, Jesse never showed
antagonism toward people he cared for and valued. On August 18th, nothing about that changed.

The only thing that changed were the circumstances. Hayden Duran will tell you how he dropped
his son off, as usual, at the Parks home, but this time, Andy Park left the children alone with a
gun.
Members of the jury, through testimony today, you will find that both Jesse Duran and Sydney
Park were two victims in a tragic accident. And at the end of todays trial, my co-counsel, Lucas
Heflin, will demonstrate that Jesse Durans intentions were never to hurt Sydney Park and thus,
the defense asks that you dont hold Hayden Duran liable for a tragic, but unexpected and
unintentional accident.