2009 MSMT Case Summary

Drew Gardener v. Taylor James

The high school rivalry between Jamestown and Golden Valley has existed for forty years. The two York County high schools have ended their regular football season each year competing against each other. The rivalry has been a source of hometown pride and bragging rights for the two schools. The 2006 game was rather unique. For the first time in the series, both teams entered the contest with an unbeaten 9-0 record. School spirit was at an all-time high. 

The victim, Drew Gardener, a local journalist and sibling of the late local football legend “Good as Golden” Gordon Gardener (also known as the Golden Retriever), wrote an article memorializing the 1966 contest between the two schools. In that first game the Golden Retriever set several state records that still stand today and led the Golden Valley Nuggets to a 35-0 victory over the Jamestown Jackals. Drew Gardener purchased a1966 Ford Shelby Cobra to commemorate the inaugural 1966 competition as well as to honor the memory of Gordon’s achievements. Enthusiasm and excitement continued to build leading up to Saturday’s match-up between the two teams. Unfortunately, school spirit and enthusiasm may have been carried too far. On October 13, 2006, the Friday evening before the Saturday night showdown, Drew Gardener’s residence was vandalized by what appeared to be a teen prank gone wrong. Sheriff Downs, who was running for re-election, investigated the vandalism. Not satisfied with the Sheriff’s investigation, Drew Gardener investigated the crime as well. The investigation led to the questioning of Taylor James, a high school student at Jamestown High School.