Young Teens Attend James Creech Trial

By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - More than a dozen students were in a courtroom on Tuesday. They're taking part in a program which allows them to witness firsthand the consequences of poor decision making. NewsWest 9 spoke with the Mark Mills Program Coordinator who explained the importance to bring students to the trial of James Creech.

"It's reality, we really want to do a reality check," Mills said.

Mills XY Zone Program says many times young adults do negative things without realizing that everything we do, whether it is good or bad, has some form of consequences. On Tuesday during the trial, the students saw the interrogation video of 23-year-old James Creech.

In the video, Creech was silent at times and other times he was seen crying. Mills says this is an example for young students, a chance to see the outcome of bad decision making.

"If we could bring them here and let them see the system, see what happens as a result of those choices, we're hoping it will help to be a true reality check, and say listen I need to curb the choices I am making," Mills said.

Jeron Tharp is a junior at Lee High School, he says watching the video of a young man who was allegedly on bath salts was hard, but even at his young age, he knows there is always more than one victim.

"We've seen that it can't only affect just the defense but the people who are surrounded and people are always the victims who can be affected by other people's choices," Tharp said.

Steve Stallings, a District Attorney involved in the trial, couldn't comment on the Creech trial but he says having students witness a trial lets them see firsthand the poor decisions each defendant has made. It also gives them the opportunity to know more about the criminal justice system.

Mills says unfortunately many young adults like Creech make some poor decisions in their teen years without realizing it can impact them for many years down the road.

"I don't know that our young people recognize how empowered they are so choices are a positive thing or they could be a very negative experience so that's what I hope they walk away with today," Mills said.