Press release from Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor’s Office
Students experience the judicial system process during the Leadership in Law Summer Internship Program.
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) - Area high school students have taken part in the annual Leadership in Law Summer Internship Program at the Dearborn County Courthouse. Judge Sally Blankenship, Superior Court II, orchestrated the Summer Internship Program to provide an opportunity for area high school students to have a hands on experience in the judicial, criminal justice and legal field.
The week starts out with students viewing initial hearings in Judge Jonathan Cleary, Superior Court I, following with an overview of the criminal process, an introduction to criminal trials by Prosecutor F. Aaron .Negangard and the role the Prosecutor plays in the community and the judicial system. Indiana State Police Detective Tom Baxter talked with the student’s on collection of evidence, responding to a crime scene and the role of a detective.
Local Defense Attorneys also took a large role in introducing the judicial system to the participants., Andy Baudendistel, from Votaw and Schwartz Law Firm and Robert Ewbank, from Ewbank and Kramer Law Firm were presenters regarding civil law, business law, family law, a defense attorney’s role, cross examining witnesses, and contract law.
The students were introduced to a mock crime scene organized by Deputy Prosecutor Lynn Deddens, Indiana State Police Sergeant Steve Weigel, and Dearborn County Sheriff’s Department Detectives Ed and Wally Lewis. The students were divided into 2 teams; one team depicting evidence technicians/detectives and the other team as attorney /detectives. The crime scene was recreated from an actual murder -trial that took place in Dearborn County.
Evidence and interviews of witnesses and suspects were collected and processed by the students with guidance from local law enforcement technicians, detectives and prosecuting attorneys.
A leadership component was led by Faith Brightwell formally from the Lawrenceburg Community Center. Each student received a copy of the book, Lincoln on Leadership written by Donald T. Phillips.
The students went on a field trip to the Indiana State Police Forensic Crime Laboratory in Indianapolis, which provided further opportunities to explore the role of forensic science in our criminal justice system. The students also had an opportunity to see firsthand the tragic affect of substance abuse and crime by attending the special programs which have been designed by the courts to address substance and alcohol abuse ; JCAP (Jail Chemical Addiction Program), A.C.C. Court, (Accountability, Change and Community Court). The week finishes with a mock jury trial put on by the students; with Judge Blankenship presiding on the bench, attorneys and prosecutors were present to assist in the proceedings of the trial. A jury consisted of court house employees. The Leadership in Law Program was a great experience for everyone involved and provided insight for the students into future careers and appreciation and understanding of our local government.
Prosecutor Aaron Negangard, Judge Sally Blankenship, and area high school students take part in the Leadership in Law Summer Internship Program. (attendees pictured not in order) : Jessie Deitsch, Abbie Alig, Jake Skeens, Shania Boyce, Alex Hobbie, Ashlie Roll, Justin Havlin, Laura Widener, Jimmy Jones, Cheyenne Younger, Jacob Younger, Matt Kirk, Megan Platt, Anne Schiller, Taylor Young, Maria Lewis, Olivia Lewis, and Ashlie Vestal.