Mychal Bell pleads guilty, admit he hit Justin Barker

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Mychal Bell no longer faces a trial that could have landed him in jail for a long time. He agreed to a plea bargain that garnered him 18 months in a juvenile facility, according to the local newspaper.

In a hearing Monday, Dec. 3, Bell admitted that he hit Justin Barker, knocking him unconscious, but his attorneys would not comment about what led up to the attack of the white student.

Bell has been ordered to pay more than $930 in restitution, court costs and Barker’s emergency room medical costs.

The Barkers have until today, Tuesday, Dec.4 to file a civil lawsuit against any of the students involved in the now famous Jena Six case.

This agreement has bearing on the other cases as Mychal if called upon to testify must answer “truthfully.”

What do you think? Should Mychal have accepted this plea agreement?

4 Responses

  1. For over a year, the case regarding the charges levied against the “Jena Six” has primarily focused on Mychal Bell who has up until now maintained his innocense in the beating of Justin Barker. Now, out of the blue, Mychal has admitted his guilt in playing a part in that beating which resulted from a plea-bargin agreement worked out between his attorneys and District AttorneyReed Walters.

    My question is this – “why has it taken a year for Mychal to admit that he assisted in attacking Justin Barker when he knew all along that he was guilty?” “And why has it taken so long for Reed Walters to offer this plea bargin when it could have been offered some time ago, and prevented all the uproar, marching, protesting, and racial problems that has evolved from this entire “Jena Six” incident?” Somewhere along the line, Mychal’s attorneys and
    District Attorney Reed Walters should have had a meeting of the minds to settle on an agreement that would have been fair to all involved in this case, but it seemed like everyone wanted to play “hardball” to see who was right and who was wrong. Now, it really doesn’t matter who had the upper hand in this whole affair, as one chapter of this saga has ended with Mychal’s admission of guilt.

    Yes, I think that Mychal should have accepted the plea deal, as it is in his best interest, and it will allow him to get on with his life to make something of it.

    I hope that Mychal will learn something from this at which at least is to go ahead and admit guilt when he knows that he has done something wrong.
    Mychal’s parents should keep a close eye of him, and talk with him like all parents do to their children to instill in them that life is important, and that one has to suffer the consequences from doing wrong, and just maybe, Mychal will end the path that almost destroyed his young life.

    Mychal, take my advice, and become a man, and leave the childhood foolishness alone and behind you.

  2. Plea bargaining is the normal procedure in criminal cases. Only a small percentage of cases actually go to trial. As part of his plea bargaining agreement, Bell waived his fifth admendment rights and agreed to testify “truthfully” against other Jena Six defendants scheduled for trail. In other words, he “turned state evidence” in exchange for reduced charges. This increases the pressure on attorneys for the other Jena Six defendants. They will probably persuade their clients to plead guilty in exchange for reduced charges or reduced sentences. Some may have a shot at parole, provided they have no prior convictions. The youngest of the Jena Six defendants is almost certain to get parole. He had not even been expelled from school and continues to play on the school football team.
    However, at least one of the defendants also faces charges of aggravated robbery and conspiracy to committ aggravated robbery in a separate case.

    In addition to court-ordered payments by the defendants, the Barkers are likely to file a civil lawsuit to garnish some of the cash donated to the Jena Six defense fund, which is said to total more than $500,000.

  3. Mychal was absolutely right to grab the plea bargain. It was carefully crafted to put some distance between him and his family so that he begins to accept responsibility for his actions. Avoiding the possibility of conviction of a felonious charge gives him a do-over card for a possible athletic career. The road is still going to be bumpy but he now has the chance to put the stigma of Jena 6 behind him.

  4. Plea bargaining is normal in criminal cases. Only a small percentage of criminal case actually go to trial. As part of his plea bargain, Mychal Bell agreed to testify against the other Jena Six defendants. This probably won’t be neccessary because the remaining defendants will probably also plead guilty in return for reduced charges and lighter sentencing. Virtually no one receives the maximum sentencing. Those who have no previous records may be offered parole.
    The news media is now reporting that the Barkers filed a civil lawsuit this morning against the LaSalle Parish School Board, the parents of the Jena Six and the adult members of the Jena Six. The school board will probably pay an out-of-court settlement to avoid a trial. The Barker’s attorney will probably seek some of the money, said to be more than $500,000, contributed to the Jena Six defense fund. Bell’s guilty plea will be used against him in the civil lawsuit. If the other defendants plead guilty or are convicted, their guilty pleas or covictions will also be used against them in the civil trial.

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