Criminal justice class hosts trial demonstration featuring local ADA and lawyer

April 11, 2014

On Thursday, April 10, Lees-McRae College’s criminal justice class, Judicial Process and Court Ethics, hosted a trial demonstration featuring students as well as local lawyer Jeff Hedrick and Avery County Assistant District Attorney Matt Rupp.

“Many of our students will go into entry-level law enforcement after graduation and we want them to be prepared for typical cases such as a [driving while intoxicated] DWI case, which is what we tried at the trial demonstration,” said Howard Donovan, instructor of criminal justice. “We based the facts used in our trial from decisions made by the appellate courts, so this was as close to an actual trial as possible.”

Having seen the demonstration, the students will re-create the trial based on their observations of Hedrick and Rupp. The trial will be the culmination of everything learned in the Judicial Process and Court Ethics course which gives an overview of the court system of the United States, explores courtroom ethics and delves into the structure and function of both the criminal justice process and the U.S. court system.

The Criminal Justice program at Lees-McRae College utilizes the social science perspective to study the nature and causes of crime and provide a comprehensive understanding of the United States criminal justice system. Students who major in Criminal Justice benefit from a unique, holistic learning environment that challenges the student to view crime, law and social problems in sociological and psychological context.

For more information about criminal justice at Lees-McRae College, please contact Katherine Logan at

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Dr. Katherine Logan, professor of Criminal Justice at Lees-McRae, presenting Jeff Hedrick, local lawyer, with a certificate of appreciation for his help with the demonstration.
Dr. Sue Hart, chair of the division of social and behavioral sciences, presenting Matt Rupp, Avery County ADA, with a certificate of appreciation for his help with the demonstration.