Thursday, October 11, 2007
He has to spend 18 months in a juvenile facility for violating his probation. However, the charges are old and weren't brought up until now, so Sharpton and others see this as some sort of revenge.
A black Louisiana teenager at the center of the racially charged "Jena 6" case was ordered Thursday to spend 18 months in a juvenile facility, after a judge ruled he had violated his probation for earlier juvenile convictions, a source with knowledge of the court proceedings said.
Mychal Bell, 17, who was freed two weeks ago after his adult criminal conviction for beating a white classmate was overturned, was sent to the Renaissance Home for Youth in Alexandria, Louisiana, the source said.
The decision came at the end of a two-day juvenile court hearing that was closed to the media and public.
Carol Powell-Lexing, one of Bell's attorneys, said the judge's decision would be appealed.
Bell was freed on $45,000 bail on September 27, after an appeals court threw out his conviction on battery and conspiracy charges in adult court and remanded the case to juvenile court.
But Judge J.P. Mauffrey agreed with prosecutors that Bell had violated the probation he was given for four previous juvenile offenses, including two simple battery charges, the sources said.
Bell had been placed on probation until he turned 18.
Civil rights activist Al Sharpton, who has championed Bell's case, denounced Thursday's decision as "revenge" by the judge and called on Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco to intervene.
I just saw this on BAW. I was surprised this wasn't the ruling initially. LW are y'all going to put up something about Gore winning the Nobel Prize. This is like, in a smaller way, the other Democrat going up on the mountain and bringing back the ten rules from God. Something needs to be said about this.
- Ray Carter
Here's the Al Gore blog entry, Ray. Anyway, here a link to an article on AFRO.com. Here's a snippet: JENA, La. (Associated Press) — A teenager at the center of a civil rights controversy was back in jail Thursday after a judge decided 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 is accused of beating a white classmate, had gone to juvenile court Thursday expecting another routine hearing, said Carol Powell Lexing, one of Bell's attorneys. Instead, after a six-hour hearing, state District Judge J.P. Mauffrey Jr. sentenced him to 18 months in jail on two counts of simple battery and two counts of criminal destruction of property, Lexing said. He 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.Mychal Bell, who was at the center of a civil rights controversy was back in jail Thursday after a judge decided the fight that put him in the national spotlight violated terms of his probation for a previous conviction, his attorney said. (Photo courtesy CNN) "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."... 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 was instrumental in organizing the protest held Sept. 20, the day Bell was originally supposed to be sentenced in the case. Mauffrey, reached at his home Thursday night, had no comment. 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."