Jessica, daughter of murdered couple Jeff and Peg Schobert, speaks before Akron mock trial event

Akron Bar Association creates Schobert awards

AKRON, Ohio - Jessica Schobert has been coping with unimaginable anguish for more than 10 months, but through her pain, she's urging people to focus on her parents' positive influence before they were murdered.

"We would like to see justice done, although more than that, we'd like to see them remembered as they were, for who they were, and not just for their ending," Schobert said during an exclusive interview Friday afternoon.

In a touching tribute, the Akron Bar Association announced the top two high school mock trial teams at the regional competition were awarded the Jeff Schobert Award of Excellence for first place, and the Margaret "Peg" Schobert Award of excellence for second place.

Each award comes with a monetary stipend. Two plaques bearing their names will be placed at the Akron Bar Association and will list the names of each year's winning team.

After the judges finished their calculations, they determined the winner was a team from Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. Second place went to a team from Archbishop Hoban High school in Akron.

Jeff Schobert, an attorney, served as an advisor for the Hoban mock trial team for six years.

Peg Schobert, a paralegal, was also actively involved with the team, making sure the kids were fed and dressed appropriately for competitions.

"Mock trial was really my dad's life, and as often is the case with married couples, what became his life, my mom wound up becoming involved in as well," Jessica Schobert said.

Hoban students, who were very close to the Schoberts, were touched to learn the plaques in honor of their mentors will be awarded annually.

"It means so much. When I heard about that, it's just such a great honor and they deserve it," said Tess Davey, a junior at the school.

The Schoberts were found bludgeoned to death on April 2 in a bedroom of their New Franklin home.

Police arrested Shawn Ford — the ex-boyfriend of the couple's other daughter, Chelsea — and charged him with aggravated murder.

Detectives believe he used a sledgehammer to kill the couple. He's scheduled to go on trial April 2, exactly one year after the killings. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

A 14-year-old boy is also facing aggravated murder charges. His case remains in the juvenile court system, but prosecutors may ask for him to be tried as an adult.

A gag order prevents Jessica Schobert from discussing specific details of the pending cases.

"Obviously, we want the best possible resolution that we can get whatever that may be, whatever the court decides."

After the tragedy, Jessica dropped out of law school. She is now following her mom's footsteps and studying to become a paralegal.

As she continues to cope with loss of both parents, she explains that her family just tries to take a couple of steps forward each day, but sometimes goes back a few.

"We don't choose the path that we get stuck on. Sometimes we have to deal with what we have to deal with because to do anything other than go forward with what we've got would be to be more of a victim than we are."

The winning mock trial teams will take part in the state competition March 6 through 8 in Columbus. The state champion will advance to the National High School Mock Trial Championship May 8 through 10 in Madison, Wisconsin.

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