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FHP Presides Over Teen Court Trial

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Major Carpenter acting as Teen Court Judge.
Major Rick Carpenter acting as Teen Court Judge.

Recently, FHP Major Rick Carpenter, Troop B Commander, experienced the unique opportunity to preside over Teen Court at Columbia County High School. Major Carpenter monitored an actual case remanded from the Columbia County Traffic Court down to the Columbia High School Teen Court while his daughter Jenn Carpenter, and Brantin Perkins served as the Prosecution Team.

Teen Defense Attorney Reynolds questions her client.
Teen Defense Attorney Alexis Reynolds questions her client.

The Columbia High School Teen Court conducts real trials for real teen cases that are remanded to them by the Columbia County Judicial System. This particular case involved a teen possessing a fraudulent driver's license that had been altered to make them appear of age to purchase alcoholic beverages. The Teen Court juror makeup consists of a student's peer group. Students fill each position in Teen Court ranging from Attorneys to Bailiffs.

Jenn Carpenter presents closing arguments to the teen jury.
Jenn Carpenter presents closing arguments to the teen jury.

The jurors in this trial deliberated for only ten minutes before rendering a verdict of guilty. The teen jury foreperson delivered the jury's decision to Major Carpenter and Mr. Chris Jenkins who reviewed the contents of their decision for accuracy. Major Carpenter closed out the class session with a lecture on traffic safety and defensive driving techniques. He also answered numerous questions concerning traffic stops and Florida traffic laws.


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