Mychal Bell released on bail, adult charges dropped


JENA, La. (AP) — A black teenager whose prosecution in the beating of a white classmate prompted a massive civil rights protest here walked out of a courthouse Thursday after a judge ordered him freed.

Mychal Bell’s release came hours after a prosecutor confirmed he will no longer seek an adult trial for the 17-year-old. Bell, one of the teenagers known as the Jena Six, still faces trial as a juvenile in the December beating.

District Attorney Reed Walters’ decision to abandon adult charges means that Bell, who had faced a maximum of 15 years in prison on his aggravated second-degree battery conviction last month, instead could be held only until he turns 21 if he is found guilty in juvenile court.

The conviction in adult court was thrown out this month by the state 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal, which said Bell should not have been tried as an adult on that particular charge.

Walters credited the prayers of people in this small central Louisiana town with averting a “disaster” when tens of thousands of demonstrators descended on the town. Some critics of Walters considered that a slap against the peaceful marchers.

2 Responses

  1. This is a wonderful thing! Now, the next steps are for someone to make sure that this young man is being looked after. I am definitely sure that that at this point he has a lot of pinned up anger and thoughts and could possibly even need counseling from all that has happened in his life within the last 10-11 months. Who is going to be responsible for this? Al Sharpton? Jesse Jackson? Melissa Bell? Marcus Jones? Who should be responsible for this?? Will all that has happened to him be enough for him to stay out of trouble in the future?

    Once the juvenile charges are given, will they still have to live in Jena until he serves what ever the punishment may be? I am definitely concerned about this because he will never be given a fair shake on this life turning event as long as he is still a resident of Jena. The best thing to do will be to pack up all of their things and get as far away from Jena as possible and start a brand new life…, football, etc.

    To Mychael Bell, I wish you nothing but the best! Keep your head up and let this whole situation be a learning experience. I am always told that when you know better you do better 🙂

  2. hey hope ur ok im from montreal canada i hear dthe story .i am on ur side and one word od advist dont care what people say about you , ur the only one knows the truth and only you can make a diference

    bonne chance mychal

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