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Mock Trial State Competition Case Brief

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People v. Concha

People v. Concha is the trial of Rae Concha, a senior at Rosewood High School. Concha faces two felony counts: Count One is second degree murder for the death of fellow student Jason Johnson, and Count Two is possession for sale of a controlled substance (amphetamine in the form of prescription Adderall).

The prosecution alleges Rae Concha sold Adderall to other students on campus, and in particular that Concha sold Adderall out of the back of Concha’s SUV on the morning of March 27, 2013 to Jason Johnson in the school parking lot just before the two went to marching band practice. The prosecution argues that Concha sold the Adderall pills to Johnson with full knowledge that Jason suffered from a congenital heart defect and that Adderall would be dangerous to Johnson. There is eyewitness testimony to Concha receiving warnings about the dangers of illegal prescription-drug use as well as to Concha handing drugs to Johnson. A large supply of Adderall pills, both in bottles and in plastic baggies, were found in Concha’s SUV. There is testimony from the medical examiner that Adderall exacerbated Johnson’s heart condition and caused his death.

The defense argues Rae Concha had a legal prescription for Adderall for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The defense also argues that the backpack alleged to contain the bottles of Adderall and the baggies did not belong to Concha, but rather to another fellow student and band member, Alex Weaver. The defense argues that Weaver, an eyewitness, had animus toward Concha in relation to both the marching band and an off-campus rock band that involved Concha, Weaver, and Johnson. Concha denies giving or selling any pills to Johnson. There is forensic-expert testimony that a high level of alcohol in Johnson’s blood exacerbated Johnson’s heart condition and caused his death.

The pretrial issue in People v. Concha centers on the Fourth Amendment protection against unlawful search and seizure. The issue in this case is whether or not a vehicle search conducted by undercover police officer Robin Doherty was within the plain view exception to the warrant requirement. If so, testimony about items seen by Officer Doherty during an ongoing narcotics investigation would be admissible in the case-in-chief.