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‘Jena 6’ Bell Gets 18 Months In Plea Deal

From those lovers of blind justice at the Associated Press:

Plea deal reached for Jena 6 teen

Monday, December 3, 2007

JENA, La. – A black teenager may get out of a juvenile facility in about eight months after a deal was struck Monday with prosecutors in the beating of a white classmate that sparked a major civil rights demonstration amid cries that his treatment was unduly harsh.

Mychal Bell, now 17, originally was charged as an adult with attempted murder in the beating of Justin Barker in December 2006. That charge was reduced before a jury convicted him in June of aggravated second-degree battery. In September, that verdict was thrown out by an appeals court that said Bell should be tried as a juvenile.

Under the deal, Bell pleaded guilty to a juvenile charge of second-degree battery in return for an 18-month sentence with credit for the 10 months he already has served. Without a deal, Bell faced being placed in a juvenile facility until his 21st birthday.

Bell also must pay court costs plus $935 to the Barker family and he must testify truthfully in court if any other of his co-defendants in the Barker beating go to trial.

“This was a way to put a close to an event at a time when everyone had reasons to want it settled,” said Louis Scott, one of Bell’s lawyers…

“We were prepared to go forward with the trial, but you have to do what’s best for the client,” said Carol Powell Lexing, one of Bell’s attorneys. A juvenile court trial was to begin later this week.

As part of the deal, Bell will undergo counseling and begin to be reintegrated into the school system, his lawyers said…

This photo released by the LaSalle Parish District Attorney’s Office shows Justin Barker in the hospital after he was beaten on Dec. 4, 2006 in Jena, La.

Actually, it’s a stiffer penalty than one would have thought possible given the stink raised by the professional race baiters.

Though this part is weird:

[A]nd he must testify truthfully in court if any other of his co-defendants in the Barker beating go to trial.

Should that not go without saying?

Still, the outcome could have been worse, all thugs considered.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, December 3rd, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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