Mychal Bell back in jail



Hat Tip: Black America’s Web, Associated Press

JENA, La. – (AP) A judge ordered a black teenager back to jail, deciding the fight that put him in the national spotlight violated terms of his probation for a previous conviction, his attorney said.

Mychal Bell, who along with five other black teenagers in the so-called Jena Six case is accused of beating a white classmate, had gone to juvenile court in Jena on Thursday expecting another routine hearing, said Carol Powell Lexing, one of his attorneys.

Instead, state District Judge J.P. Mauffrey Jr. sentenced Bell to 18 months in jail on two counts of simple battery and two counts of criminal destruction of property, Lexing said.

“We are definitely going to appeal this,” she said. “We’ll continue to fight.”

Bell had been hit with those charges before the Dec. 4 attack on classmate Justin Barker. Details on the previous charges, which were handled in juvenile court, were unclear.

Mauffrey, reached at his home Thursday night, had no comment.

“He’s locked up again,” Marcus Jones said of his 17-year-old son. “No bail has been set or nothing. He’s a young man who’s been thrown in jail again and again, and he just has to take it.”

After the attack on Barker, Bell was originally charged with attempted murder, but the charges were reduced and he was convicted of battery. An appeals court threw that conviction out, saying Bell should not have been tried as an adult on that charge.

Racial tensions began rising in August 2006 in Jena after a black student sat under a tree known as a gathering spot for white students. Three white students later hung nooses from the tree. They were suspended but not prosecuted.

More than 20,000 demonstrators gathered last month in the small central Louisiana town to protest what they perceive as differences in how black and white suspects are treated. The case has drawn the attention of civil rights activists including the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.

Sharpton reacted swiftly upon learning Bell was back in jail Thursday.

“We feel this was a cruel and unusual punishment and is a revenge by this judge for the Jena Six movement,” said Sharpton, who helped organize the protest held Sept. 20, the day Bell was originally supposed to be sentenced.

Bell’s parents were also ordered to pay all court costs and witness costs, Sharpton said.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do,” Jones said. “I don’t know how we’re going to pay for any of this. I don’t know how we’re going to get through this.”

Bell and the other five defendants have been charged in the attack on Barker, which left him unconscious and bleeding with facial injuries. According to court testimony, he was repeatedly kicked by a group of students at the high school.

Bell, Robert Bailey Jr., Carwin Jones, Bryant Purvis and Theo Shaw were all initially charged — as adults — with attempted second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit the same. A sixth defendant was charged in the case as a juvenile.

Bell, who was 16 at the time, was convicted in June of aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy to commit that crime. LaSalle Parish prosecutor Reed Walters reduced the charges just before the trial. Since then, both of those convictions were dismissed and tossed back to juvenile court, where they now are being tried.

Charges against Bailey, 18, Jones, 19, and Shaw, 18, have been reduced to aggravated second-degree battery. Purvis, 18, has not yet been arraigned.

11 thoughts on “Mychal Bell back in jail

  1. Reed Walters was looking for a reason to throw Mychal back in jail. The least the judge could have done was commute the sentence to “time served”, but that’s too much like doing the right thing.

    Must be something in that Louisiana swamp kool-aid that keeps the whole damned state for venturing into the 21st Century.

  2. What should we do? There’s a national movement that is demanding they be free. We have said we have the Jena Six’s back, and now we have to act, again with some kind of political manifestation/protest, if we are going to have a chance at really freeing them. Any ideas/plans circulating yet?

  3. Justice of All

    Six on one isn’t that the way the brothers fight? If six white kids jump one black kid all six would be in jail for battey and probablyan extra 5 years for a hate crime? So why weren’t these punks cjarged with a hate crime too? Can black people not hate too?

  4. Direwolf

    he’s back where he belongs. He’s a thug and a criminal who should not get preferential treatment just because he’s a negro.

  5. Rose

    The really sad thing here, is this is a victory for the stupid racists. Yea black people can hate. Actually they should hate more than us. They have a lot more reasons. White people hate blacks because they are scared of what they don’t know.

    This kid is being set up as an example of the idiots in Louisiana. They are telling America, Screw you, we are going to be stupid until we die and there is nothing you can do.

    This should really go national, above and beyond the continuing lack of leadership in this hopeless state. This is 2007. The ignorant white kids that were taunting the black kids with hanging, weren’t even disciplined. Justice for all you are obviously white and just as stupid as all of those in Louisiana.

    In 20 years, people are going to look back at Louisiana and say how sad they tried to continue carrying the civil war to the 21st Century. People are always putting down the south. This type of ignorant vindictive behavior by a supposedly educated individual keeps people out of the south believing everyone there is ignorant.

    Let this boy go and grow the f— up…….

  6. Very true Rose except for one thing: If only the concept of “teach a nigger a lesson” was just confined to the South. It isn’t, it is very much a nationwide thing.

  7. Tanya

    This is truly sad! The judge waited good and well until all the protestors were gone to come in with a sneak attack. Any other part of the country would have considered the 9 months he served as punishment enough but NOT old Louisiana! It is a direct slap in the faces of all the people who went to Jena in a peaceful demonstration. And the good for nothing judge needs to be kicked off the bence! Of course I am not saying anything profound but it is true.

  8. RighteousThug

    “Any other part of the country would have considered the 9 months he served as punishment enough but NOT old Louisiana!”

    Tanys, Bell should have been violated long before the Dec 4, 2006 beating took place.

    The conviction in adult court doesn’t exist any more, nor does the time he spent in jail.

  9. Ralph Abernathy

    You’d better read Craig Franklin’s “Editor Believes Media Created Myths About Jena 6” before making such racially-charged statements, my poor, baffled liberal friends. Looks as if you’ve been lied to once more by your Democratic puppeteers. Try the truth for a change: it’ll do you a great deal of good.

  10. keakea

    i think they should have kept him out of jail i dont think it was right for him to be in jail and not the white boys they started it by hanging nooses in th tree it mwas wrong they did what they had to do

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