Jurors at the U.S. Army Europe Office of the Judge Advocate found Alexander T. Wolf – a.k.a. the Big Bad Wolf – not guilty of deliberately causing the death of two of his neighbors, First Little Pig and Second Little Pig, when he huffed and puffed and blew their houses down. The jury, made up of children from the Wiesbaden community, took only ten minutes to reach a verdict after a one hour mock trial.
Judge Advocates and CID agents acted out the roles of judge, attorneys and witnesses in The U.S. v. Alexander T. Wolf, based on the fairy tale “The Three Little Pigs.” Emotions ran high as Third Little Pig testified about the deaths of his brothers. The prosecution argued that this was not the first time Wolf had a run-in with the law. Little Red Riding Hood, played by Special Agent Bethany Busch, testified that just as with the Pigs, Wolf had eaten her granny.
Wolf, played by Capt. Rufus C. Allen, took the stand in his own defense. “I was suffering from a bad cold when I went to borrow sugar from my neighbors, the Pigs. Their houses were built of straw and sticks, and I sneezed real hard. I didn’t mean to knock their houses down. Yes, I ate their remains, but who doesn’t love schnitzel?” Juror No. 12, 6-year-old Elizabeth Gallagher, agreed. “Schnitzel is the world’s biggest chicken nugget!” she said.
Third Little Pig, played by Spc. Preston Hough, dismissed the sniffles defense, stating “I’ll believe that when pigs fly.” However, Mr. Goat, played by Pfc. Charles Tatro, said Wolf had come by his home down the street earlier in the afternoon asking for sugar and sneezing.
The defense also put forth the theory that Third Little Pig framed Wolf. Humpty Dumpty, played by Capt. Tony Cardona, testified that he contracted with Third Little Pig to build a mudslide but that construction was halted because the homes of First and Second Little Pig were in the way. “With the homes gone, the properties were clear for construction,” said Dumpty. His testimony prompted a flurry of questions from the jury, mostly about what other things Dumpty could build. After the verdict was announced, Juror No. 10, 5-year-old Caleb Martinez, said that Dumpty’s testimony was cause for reasonable doubt. The testimony also convinced the judge, played by Maj. Robert Michaels, that there was probable cause to arrest Third Little Pig for the murder of his brothers. CID Agent Michael Jeffers took Third Little Pig out of the courtroom in handcuff
s, and charges in that case are pending.
The mock trial was organized by the OJA as part of Law Day activities. Since 1957, Law Day serves as an annual commemoration of our nation’s commitment to the rule of law. This year’s theme is the 14th Amendment, which among other protections, requires certain procedures to ensure a fair process for criminal defendants. Among those protections are the right to unbiased factfinder (judge or jury), the right to be represented by an attorney, the right to present evidence and the right to cross-examine witnesses called by the prosecution.
Students at Hainerberg Middle School similarly acquitted Wolf in a mock trial held by students at that school on April 20. Hainerberg Elementary School students tried the case under separate jurisdiction on May 1.