Murphy Wins Outstanding Witness Award at Mississippi College

March 10, 2017

The Mississippi Valley State University Mock Trial Team ended the season competing in the Jackson Regional Mock Trial Tournament held at the Mississippi College School of Law in Jackson. Pictured from left are Dr. Larry Chappell, advisor; Jasmine Murphy, Dr. William Bynum, MVSU president; Kenya Junes, Alexxus Ervins; second row, Kambreca Mitchell, Barbara Duncan, Destaree Simmons, Laquita White and Neysha Sanders, Esq. 

The Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) Mock Trial Team recently competed in the Jackson Regional Mock Trial Tournament held at the Mississippi College School of Law in Jackson.

MVSU competed against The University of Alabama at Birmingham, The University of Georgia, Tulane University and The University of North Alabama.

“The team compiled a respectable record on their eight ballots over four rounds narrowly losing three ballots that would have placed them in the opening round of national championship competition,” said Dr. Larry Chappell, the team’s advisor. “ The competitiveness of the team is quite an accomplishment considering the number of first-year and sophomore students on the team. All of the team will be returning next year with the exception of one graduating senior.”

Jasmine Murphy, sophomore pre-law/legal studies and English double major from Itta Bena, Miss., won an outstanding witness award for the defense for her role as Dr. Vic Fogel, an expert on journalism. She also received strong scores and rankings for a separate role as psychologist Cary Kramer on the plaintiff side. This was her second outstanding witness award in less than a month.

“Playing an expert witness is quite challenging since the witness must learn credentials; tests and methods; supporting evidence; and major conclusions for complicated professional studies, he said. “To testify on both sides as an expert is a grueling challenge that Ms. Murphy met well.”

The other members of the team include Kenya Jones (team captain) junior double major in pre-law /legal studies and government and politics from Meridian, Miss.; Nadia Crawford, sophomore pre-law/legal studies major from Atlanta, Ga; Barbara Duncan, first year double major in english education and pre-law/legal studies from Schlater, Miss.; Alexxus Ervins, first year pre-law/legal studies major from  Laurel, Miss.; Tiwana Frazier, sophomore pre-law/legal studies major from Leland, Miss; Austin Gray, first year double major in English and  pre-law/legal studies from Cleveland, Miss.; Kambreca Mitchell, sophomore pre-law/legal studies major from Greenwood, Miss.; Jakaiyla Procter, senior Criminal Justice major from Chicago; Destaree Simmons Junior major in Criminal Justice from Glendora, Miss; Laquita White, senior double major in Criminal Justice and Pre-law/legal studies from Greenville, Miss.

“We want to especially thank John McCall, senior graphic designer with Communications and Marketing at MVSU, for preparing the demonstrative aids that students used in their testimony; and Dr. John Bradford, assistant professor of sociology, who developed the charts that were used in testimony during the trials.

The educator coach for the Mock Trial Team is Dr. Larry W. Chappell, university pre-law advisor, professor of political science and coordinator of the pre-law/legal studies program. 
The attorney coach for the team is Neysha Sanders; Esq. Sanders is a member of Sanders and Sanders Law Firm. She also teaches courses in the department of social sciences at MVSU. The assistant coach for the tournament was Ivory Johnson, a student who won eight outstanding attorney awards competing at Mississippi Valley State University.
The program is sponsored by the Department of Social Sciences, Leflore County Board of 
Supervisors, Office of Academic Affairs, and University Advancement.