Former Jena 6 Defendant Faces Charge of Battering

Bret H. McCormick, News-Star (Monroe, Louisiana), May 25, 2010

Former “Jena Six” defendant Mychal Bell is in trouble with the law once again.

Bell was arrested on Saturday and charged with simple battery after a fight at Brown’s Barber Shop on Park Street in Jena.

LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a call about the fight, and Bell admitted to getting into a fight, although he called the incident “a big misunderstanding,” according to a report by Lacie Terral, deputy sheriff for criminal records.

“While being booked and after being read his Miranda rights, Mychal stated to deputies that he had hit the victim in the face and grabbed him in a headlock and slammed his head on a table as they were falling to the floor,” Terral wrote in a press release. “When asked why he did this, Bell stated because (the victim) was running his mouth about him.”

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The arrest is just the latest in a long string of run-ins with the law for Bell, who was at the heart of the Jena Six case, which drew national headlines because of the justice system’s handling of an incident in which six black Jena High School students beat up a white student on Dec. 4, 2006.

The Jena Six defendants originally were charged with attempted second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder. Those charges were later reduced. Bell was tried and convicted of second-degree battery as an adult.

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{snip} He returned to the spotlight in December 2008 when he was arrested on charges of shoplifting, resisting arrest and simple battery in an incident at the Pecanland Mall in Monroe. Hours later, Bell shot himself in the chest in what he later said was a suicide attempt.

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Bell recently completed his first year of college at Southern University in Baton Rouge, where he was considering playing football for the Jaguars next year.

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