The Legal Advocate

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NITA Case File: State v. Casey

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stateVsCaseyBy Joseph E. Taylor

In State v. Casey, the defense and the prosecution agree that Bill Melton and his eleven-year-old son Stephen were murdered in their home with Bill’s own shotgun. What they don’t agree on, however, is who pulled the trigger.

Michael Casey, the eighteen-year-old defendant, has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of his stepfather and half-brother. Michael confesses to Detective Stevens but later recants, contending that it was his mother, Dianna Melton, who actually murdered Bill and Stephen to collect $500,000 in insurance money. The prosecution stands by its case that Michael, allegedly inspired by a made-for-television movie about a teenager who murders his family under similar circumstances, killed both victims–and would have killed his own mother, too, if he hadn’t run out of shotgun shells.

This second edition of State v. Casey tests the student’s advocacy and medical expert witness skills through this full trial, which includes four witnesses per side, including the coroner and forensic experts in fingerprint and blood spatter analysis, and electronic evidence in the form of Facebook posts on an online “microsite.” The case file also includes CD-ROM containing the exhibits.

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NITA’s team of practicing lawyers, professors and judges from around the nation dedicates its efforts to the training and development of skilled and ethical legal advocates to improve the adversarial justice system. NITA's Goals are to:
  • Promote justice through effective and ethical advocacy.
  • Train and mentor lawyers to be competent and ethical advocates in pursuit of justice.
  • Develop and teach trial advocacy skills to support and promote the effective and fair administration of justice.
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