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Lesson in law & justice via ROP
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For some unexplainable reason, Joe Waller can usually expect the same verdict for his annual mock trial.
Monday’s enactment of the Shannon J. Jacobson vs the State of California murder trial was no different.
The longtime Regional Occupation Program instructor for Manteca Unified Careers in Law Enforcement found that the jury — in this case, students from the nearby academy — ruled in favor of the prosecution.
Rather than a time-consuming unanimous decision, a majority vote was needed to put the fictional character also known as Shaky behind bars for life for killing Jerry Lee Lewis a.k.a. Sneaky Pete during the Jan. 15 shooting at The Star Bar, 007 Trouble St. in Manteca.
No one was more thrilled than Ricardo Pimentel and Isaac Quezada.
“I thought we might have the edge on the verdict,” said Pimentel, a Sierra High senior who played the lead prosecutor.
He and Quezada, a Lathrop High junior, proved that Shaky’s action during the Star Bar incident was premeditated.
They won out by a 7-5 vote.
For defense team of Sierra senior David Ketner and Lathrop junior Esmeralda Chavez had a tougher task at hand. They had to prove that Shaky, as played by Sierra senior Eric Herrera, acted in self-defense against the victim who was twice his size.
“We spent maybe a week working on our parts,” said Ketner, who served as the lead defendant.
The events of the Star Bar stemmed from Shaky getting into a domestic incident with his girlfriend Jacky Daniels (Jasenya Barajas), who is seen at Star Bar hanging out with friends including Sneaky Pete.
A jealous Shaky confronted Sneaky Pete, who struck him down, causing facial injuries.
After a brief visit to the hospital, Shaky returned to the Star Bar armed this time with a hand gun.
After another encounter, an already injured Shaky fired six shots into the victim. Sneaky Pete died in the hospital from his wounds.
During the trial, witnesses and a few medical folks such as Dr Cutthroat and Dr Katy Kisser were called to witness stand in John T. Johnson’s courtroom — the portable near Waller’s classroom was converted over for this mock trial.
True to form, the other two classes also went with guilty verdicts.
Waller indicated the margins in favor of the prosecution in both cases were just as close.

To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail