High schools students solve mock crime scene in Jefferson City

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JEFFERSON CITY – Three high schools and an "all-star" group, made up of the best performers from different schools, competed at the state round of the Constitution Project.

Students from School of the Osage, Florissant's North Tech and Marshfield High School worked as law enforcement, journalists and lawyers to solve a mock crime scene. They worked with MSHP troopers, judges and lawyers to process the scene and brought the case to a mock trial.

The goal of the project, to expose high school students to the United States Constitution and to possible career paths. 

MSHP Captain John Hotz said, "The overall reason for having the competition is to help this students see that the Constitution plays a big role in each of our lives, everyday. We help emphasize how the Constitution guides each of the professions involved."

Senior Mya Garner played the role of a CSI investigator on the scene.

"I absolutely love it, this is my third year at state," she said. "It has shown me the best way to use constitutionality and the best way to act within our government."

She was responsible for talking with witnesses and victims.

Angela Fisher was in charge of sealing evidence to prepare it for the crime lab. She said she has never participated in the Constitution Project before.

"I was just jumping into it to see what happens," she said.

This also was not the first competition for senior Chance Bennett. He was in charge of taking pictures to reconstruct the crime scene for the mock jury. 

He said the Constitution Project exposes him to a career in law enforcement he might consider in the future. 

"Well, it's fun, everybody here is always here to have a good time, there's nobody ever here that's in a bad mood, that's what makes it so fun," Bennett said. 

High school junior Caleb Ralph's drawing talent brought him to work as the sketch artist for the mock trial.

"Just the idea of really getting in depth, seeing what the CSI work is all about, that's what's really interested me," he said. 

Ralph said he is interested to go into the medical field. He said the Constitution Project allows him to see possible career paths he could take. 

Judges, lawyers, MHSP troopers, the Missouri Press Association and the Missouri Broadcasters Association would select the top performers of each category (law enforcement, journalists and lawyers).

The first places would receive a $500 award. The second place of each category would win $250, each.