SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — An NHL hockey player was found not guilty today of assaulting another player in a civil trial at the Minnehaha County Courthouse.
It wasn’t real, but rather a mock trial put on by a bunch of 5th graders from St. Mary’s Elementary.
From witnesses to lawyers to judges and jurors these 5th graders all had a role to play in this court case that stems from a real incident that happened in the NHL several years ago.
A hockey player was suing another to pay for his medical bills after getting hit in the head by a hockey stick during a game.
Anna Baloun was one of the defense lawyers today. She said her client had been fighting earlier with the other hockey player and wasn’t winning.
“So he got mad and took his hockey stick was trying to get Mr. Broshere to fight again, so he could win the fight; because obviously it wasn’t fun losing on live TV,” Baloun said.
Sam Petoske was one of the jurors.
“I think it was an accident and I don’t think he did it on purpose,” Petoske said.
After the trial, the students got to watch a clip of the incident and how it really happened.
Judge Susan Sabers is the one who organized today’s mock trial. She’s been doing it for years.
“Routinely year after year I have all sorts of children write me thank you notes that say I’d like to be a lawyer or I’d like to be a judge when I grow up and lots of them do choose that path, so we think it’s a nice educational tool, so much you can learn out of a book and so much you can learn in an afternoon at the courthouse,” Judge Sabers said.
Following the trial, each student received a pencil shaped like a gavel.
While she played a defense lawyer today Anna says she’d rather be an actor.
“I’m just going to say this, it’s probably not going to get you a lot of money but being a lawyer is a lot more money but it also seems like really fun I’d definitely want to be a court lawyer because what I just did was fun and I like it,” Baloun said.
After listening to witnesses and testimony, the jurors found the defendant not guilty and didn’t have to pay for any of the medical bills.
But in real life, the NHL player was charged and convicted of assault.