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Teens get a raw taste of the law

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LAHS students got a chance to hear a portion of the Scott Owens trial

By Jennifer Garcia

The recent trial in Santa Fe during which alleged drunk driver Scott Owens was acquitted of all charges stemming from a fatal accident in 2009 struck a chord with some Los Alamos students who had the opportunity to observe some of the testimony in the case.

The situation looked like an open and shut case: Owens was driving drunk, he hit a car full of teens that were on their way to a party on the outskirts of Santa Fe and four of the five passengers in that car died.
But as New Mexicans would soon find out, prosecuting the case would be a lot more difficult than it appeared.

Students from Los Alamos High School’s Business and Personal Law class got a first-hand look at the trial. Betsy Raichur’s class had been studying media coverage of the case and was scheduled to observe State District Judge Michael Vigil’s juvenile criminal docket, but instead sat through the morning half of Owens’ trial.

During a recess, the class joined Vigil in his chambers downstairs, where they asked him questions.


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