Members and volunteers from The Game Loft gathered Jan. 18 to honor the life of Martin Luther King Jr. by taking a unique look at the civil rights movement.

The group held a mock trial illustrating the issues of the Fugitive Slave Law of the 1850s at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Miller Street.

“Today we honor his life, his heroism, his valor, the kind of things that made him a great man,” said Patricia Estabrook, of The Game Loft, about King.

Estabrook said to understand King’s the path one had to understand history prior to the movement and that is why the group decided to examine the Fugitive Slave Law.

On trial were of two teens who had been charged with aiding and abetting the escape of a slave through Maine and into Canada.

Although the case was fictional, it raised issues concerning human rights, civil disobedience and civil rights.

Waldo County Judge of Probate Susan Longley and attorneys Jim Munch and Irwin Brown assisted with the proceedings.

Munch served as the prosecuting attorney, while Brown defended the two teens, who were played by James Knight and John Williams.

As members of the community arrived, those who were willing were asked to serve on the jury.

Prior to the trial, newsboys sold abolitionist and anti-abolitionist newspapers.

The jury heard from several witnesses and after closing arguments from the attorneys, the jury gathered to deliberate.

Unlike in an actual trial, the audience had a chance to listen in as the jury deliberated on the case. At the same time, Waldo County Restorative Justice held a gathering for the audience to discuss the case.

In the end, the teens were found not guilty of the crime, garnering cheers from the crowd.

The community event was made possible by a grant from the Maine Commission on Community Service.