Breanna Hunt, ’19, wins her first felony jury trial
April 19, 2018
Second-year SIU Law student, Breanna Hunt, argued and won her first jury trial, defending her client charged with felony retail theft. Hunt is practicing under an Illinois Supreme Court rule which allows law students to participate in a trial under the supervision of an attorney.
Ms. Hunt was given less than one week to prepare for the trial. She spent countless hours immersed in the case in the days leading up to it. Once the trial began, it moved quickly. “I selected the jury on a Wednesday afternoon and we went to trial the next day,” Hunt said. In preparation for trial, Hunt discovered the clerk lacked the knowledge of the use of the video evidence. This lack of foundation and witness credibility gave her the basis for her defense. After 30 minutes of deliberation, the jury came back with a favorable verdict.
For Hunt, this experience allowed her to take her classroom knowledge and her practical skills training and apply it in a real-world situation. “Being enrolled in Evidence this semester helped me to know what to look for and listen for to make the proper objections,” Hunt said.
Ms. Hunt was supervised by Jackson County Assistant Public Defender and Adjunct Professor of Law Timothy Ting. “The diligence and professionalism that Breanna Hunt has demonstrated as a law student intern at the Jackson County Public Defender’s Office are hallmarks for an excellent attorney and I am truly proud of her work during this jury trial. I encourage all law students to practice under a supervising attorney pursuant to the Illinois Supreme Court Rule 711,” Ting said.
Hunt participated in mock trial competitions as an undergraduate student and knew she wanted to practice criminal law. This summer, she will split her time between the Missouri State Public Defender in Jackson, Missouri, and the Jackson County Public Defender in Murphysboro, Illinois.