‘Jena 6’ Defendant Facing New Assault Charge in Texas

AP, February 7, 2008

JENA, La.—A defendant in the so-called “Jena Six” case that led to a huge civil rights demonstration here last year now faces an assault charge in Texas for a school fight, his mother said.

Bryant R. Purvis, 19, now living in the Dallas area, was charged with assault causing bodily injury. The charge is a misdemeanor, with a possible fine of up to $4,000 fine and a possible jail sentence of no longer than one year.

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Tina Jones, Purvis’ mother, said her son got into an altercation with another student at Hebron High School early Wednesday after he was told that the student had vandalized his car the night before.

“I wish he could just get in a place where he could walk away from the situation,” Jones said of her son. “I understand he gets frustrated. But he needed to walk away from this situation, being that he’s already in a situation. It’s very frustrating and upsetting to have to go through so much.”

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Soon after Purvis’ arrest, Jones said she sent him to live with his uncle, Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Jason Hatcher, so he could stay out of trouble and out of the limelight.

Purvis had stayed out of the spotlight for most of the year, but did appear on Black Entertainment Television’s Hip-Hop Awards. Purvis and fellow defendant Carwin Jones helped present the Video of the Year award during the October awards show.

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He currently faces charges of aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy to commit the same. If convicted of both charges, he faces a maximum sentence of 22 1/2 years in prison.

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