Big Bad Wolf on trial, CPS students hold court

Published 7:59 pm Wednesday, March 7, 2018

In what may well go down as the trial of the century, notorious criminal B.B. Wolf was found guilty of three counts of destruction of property in district court on Wednesday.

Mr. Wolf stood trial before a group of third graders from Chocowinity Primary School visiting the Beaufort County Court House for a field trip. With CPS students taking on the roles of judge, jury, prosecution and defense, the group enjoyed a mock trial based on the classic tale of the Three Little Pigs.

Wolf faced jeers from an obviously hostile jury, as he was lead into the courtroom in the custody of Bailiffs Keyshawn Rouse, Jesse Morris and Braxton Cuthrell. Standing before the honorable Judge Cayden Bowden, Wolf and the three witnesses were sworn under oath by Clerk of Court Hollie Strain.

THE JUDGE: The honorable Judge Cayden Bowden presided over the trial on Wednesday. (Matt Debnam/Daily News)

The testimony of the three witnesses, a trio of pig siblings, described the alleged offenses Wolf had committed on their respective properties.

The courtroom drama that ensued was a dance of legal wit worthy of novelization. Prosecutor Alex Silva and Defense Attorney Ryleigh Carrow used their powers of persuasion to sway the jury this way and then that. While Carrow attempted to discredit the character of the prosecution’s witnesses, Silva painted a picture of three innocent victims who had been deprived of their homes.

The greatest drama of the trial came when Wolf himself was called to the stand. As he approached the bench, calls of “guilty” came from the audience, prompting Judge Bowden to call for order a number of times.

THE PROSECUTION: Prosecutor Alex Silva delivers his closing testimony, coached by real-life Assistant District Attorney Ray Cameron. (Matt Debnam/Daily News)

Mr. Wolf, obviously coached by his lawyers, based his defense on dubious credentials as a licensed home inspector, saying he had come to the pigs’ homes in an official capacity to perform inspections on each.

Wolf’s testimony crumbled, however, under cross-examination from prosecutor Alex Silva. Perhaps the most telling piece of evidence, which ultimately served to convince the jury of his guilt, was Wolf’s admission under oath that he sometimes enjoyed a ham biscuit for breakfast.

Following closing arguments from Carrow and Silva, the jury was ready to make its decision. While not unanimous, the CPS third graders overwhelmingly declared B.B. Wolf guilty as charged. Judge Bowden sentenced B.B. Wolf to a lengthy prison sentence of 25 to 5,000 years for his crimes against the three pig sisters.

LEARNING EXPERIENCE: Beaufort County Clerk of Court Marty Paramore teaches Chocowinity Primary School students about the intricacies of the courtroom.

While the mock trial was largely in good fun, it was also a valuable learning experience for the CPS students. From witnessing court proceedings to a tour of the courthouse, the field trip was an opportunity for kids to learn about their local government at an early age.

For Clerk of Court Marty Paramore, who has been hosting mock trials for students since being elected 12 years ago, the school visits are something he looks forward to each year.

“It makes it relevant,” Paramore said. “We want them to not be afraid of the court system and to learn how it works.”