Patterico's Pontifications

12/3/2007

Jena 6 Defendant Mychal Bell takes Plea Deal

Filed under: Law — DRJ @ 5:39 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Mychal Bell, one of the Jena 6, has accepted a plea agreement on a juvenile charge of second-degree battery:

“The district attorney in the racially-charged Jena 6 case in Louisiana agreed to a plea bargain Monday that sharply reduced the charges against the first of the six black teenagers who was facing trial, while attorneys for other defendants said the prosecutor appeared eager to avoid taking their cases to court as well.

LaSalle Parish District Atty. Reed Walters, whose initial decision to charge the black teenagers with attempted murder for beating a white youth was condemned as excessive by civil rights leaders, dropped a conspiracy charge against Mychal Bell, 17, and agreed to let him plead guilty to a juvenile charge of second-degree battery, with a sentence of 18 months and credit for time he has served in jail over the last year.

District Judge J.P. Mauffray approved the plea agreement Monday afternoon, just three days before Bell’s trial in juvenile court was to have begun. Bell’s attorneys said Walters offered them the plea agreement last Thursday, a week after a coalition of U.S. media companies successfully sued Mauffray to force him to open the trial to the public and the press.”

Bell’s attorneys noted the plea agreement likely reduced the jail time Bell would serve:

“Bell’s attorneys said they agreed to the plea bargain to spare the former high school football star the danger of being convicted of more serious charges and also to win early release from juvenile custody.

In October, Mauffray sentenced Bell to 18 months in a juvenile facility for four prior juvenile convictions for battery and destruction of property. But under the terms of Monday’s plea agreement, that time will be served concurrently with the new 18-month sentence for the Dec. 4 attack, and Bell will get credit for the nine months he spent in jail while awaiting trial. His attorneys said he could be released by June.”

It seems the criminal proceedings are nearing an end.

— DRJ

13 Responses to “Jena 6 Defendant Mychal Bell takes Plea Deal”

  1. “It seems the criminal proceedings are nearing an end.”

    You may want to read a few more news stories then. First, as part of the plea deal, Bell had to not only admit to knocking Barker unconscious but also he had to agree to testify at all future hearings. With the exception of one juvenile, the rest of those hearings will all involve adult charges.

    Plus, Purvis’s mother is reportedly furious at the plea deal and she stated that her son will not be pleading guilty to anything.

    Finally, Jena still has a convenience store robbery and a school fire to prosecute. Don’t be surprised if the suspected arsonists are among the Jena 6.

    dsf (d35894)

  2. dsf,

    I appreciate that you pointed this out. The linked article states that there are pending criminal proceedings for the other defendants (which is why I said “nearing an end” as opposed to “ended”), but Bell’s plea bargain means his criminal case is over. I think that signals the other cases will move more quickly, too.

    DRJ (a6fcd2)

  3. The D.A. is trying to work out plea deals for the remaining defendants.

    steve (7a6844)

  4. Nearing an end, and then his record gets sealed upon his 18th birthday.

    /spit

    Scott Jacobs (425810)

  5. Gee, I thought he was innocent. Must be some misprint.

    fouse, gary c (d43d4a)

  6. Bell’s plea set the bar for plea bargains from the remaining defendants. Their cases may move more quickly only if they also want to spend 18 months in jail.

    With Bell’s story in hand, Walters has a huge bargaining chip. He knows how Bell will testify, who Bell will finger, and what actions Bell will describe each assailant performing.

    Plus, Barker’s parents filed a lawsuit on Nov 29 against the six, their parents and the school board. Bell’s admission of guilt and the outcomes of the other trials will play a large part in that lawsuit. The prize? That fat half million dollar defense fund that the families are personally administering.

    Everything up until now has been the set-up, the fireworks have yet to begin.

    dsf (d35894)

  7. Hey liberals, why do you think these guys look to be getting off easy? Because they are black and everyone is afraid of being called racist?

    Or is it a sign of racism that I would wonder out loud about such a thing.

    If these guys all get off easy, would it be wrong for people to sit down and say “Gee, how do we defend ourselves from this? How do we keep this from happening again? The courts don’t care, the politicians don’t care, and some of them are getting famous on BET.”

    Mr.Obvious (d3fe32)

  8. Hey Obvious, you obviously dont know what you are talking about. The facts of this case have been debated and it has been proven that the DA was in the wrong. The that these young men were over charged and an attempt was made to send them directly to jail should not be over looked, especially by the majority (your ignorant comment lead me to believe this).

    Historically speaking this is what those in power have done to those with no power ie… racism. If you can for a moment remove the confederate bandanna from your head -excuse me if you are not wearing one-and look at the facts. I am sure that your attempt to devalue and/or minimize the lives of these 6 young men with your racist comments would change.

    In concluding, no one is saying that these boys were out of order for jumping the victim. However, the victim was out of order for using racist slurs. The boys should have individually beat his ASS instead of Collectively!!!! What the majority needs to understand is that the minority is not as tolerant as our ancestors had to be when it comes to racial slurs.

    lex (30705f)

  9. So racist comments justify individual beatings? How much horsecrap do blacks say about whites to their face or just in public and get away with it?

    As far as cases being proven, are you saying our legal system is a justice system? That’s a joke. If the DA went too far at first, he sure isn’t going far enough now. In some states, calling someone a n****r is a FELONY. Yet a gang assault is a misdemeanor? Tell me that has nothing to do with my point in #7,

    I think the minority needs to understand that the majority is getting TIRED of being so darn tolerant.

    Mr.Obvious (d3fe32)

  10. The DA most certainly has not been proven in the wrong. Overcharging is a normal procedure when the DA is looking to turn someone into a snitch, especially after a school is burned down.

    What racial slurs on the part of the victim? Reportedly, Bell admitted that the attack on Barker was unprovoked. That means Bell and his buddies jumped Barker for no reason.

    dsf (d35894)

  11. Also, everyone out here in news-consumer-land is working from incomplete information. Bell’s own attorney stated that important elements of this case have never been reported by the news media nor hinted as gossip by the blogs.

    dsf (d35894)

  12. I understand that he partook in a criminal act but no the punishment doesnt fit the crime when I can post numerous attacks by whites across the country who have received only slaps on the wrist. I can post an article last week that stated that 3 Jewish teens attacked a muslim teen here in nyc and they were copped out to misdemeanor charges because of their ages. one two 17 and one 18. yes most of you are racist because you choose not to see the disparity in racial cases when it comes to what minorities are charged with compared to their conterparts. this is also socioeconomic not just racial but in places like the deep south how can you not see it.

    whg (6168d1)

  13. We don’t see what you want us to see in most cases because when a person walks up to another person, attacks that person from behind, then participates with several others to viciously and brutally beat that person, and it can be shown that race had nothing to do with it, we see just a brutal beating, not a race problem. Go back and read the entire story, in particular from the Alexandria paper, which has kept a long running diary on the subject, and you will find the truth about the attack. Each act, wherever it happens in the world, is a different act, not one which is the result of racism in Jena because you say something that happened elsewhere is a result of a racial act.

    Dr. King had it exactly correct when he wished for a world who looked at the content of character rather than the color of skin. Bell is in jail for his character, not his skin color.

    reff (bff229)


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