Four of the Jena 6 Bryant Purvis, Robert Bailey Jr, Carwin Jones and Theo Shaw were arraigned today on charges of second degree aggravated battery. Purvis, who was previously charged with second degree murder had his charge reduced today.
According to the AP News: “Purvis is set to stand trial as an adult in March 2008. If convicted, he could be imprisoned for up to 22 years.”
Not at the Fight, and Not Arrested Until the Next Day:
Purvis has contended that he wasn’t even apart of the Justin Barker beating, and only saw the fight from a far. The fact that he wasn’t arrested on the spot the day of the fight tends to support this. He didn’t get arrested until the next day, from what I can glean is based on one witness saying they may have seen him in the fight. Though not at the fight, he was however the leader of the protest under the “white’s tree” that led this same DA, Reed Walters, to threaten to end protesting black student’s lives with a stroke of his pen.
I posted video of Tina Jones, Purvis’ mother, talking about this at the Jena March, with Purvis standing along side her.
According to the AP News article: Purvis' lawyer, Darrell Hickman, said Purvis was "30 feet away from the melee when it took place" and that the charges against Purvis should be dismissed. If they aren't, Hickman said he will seek a change of venue because of the intense emotions and attention tied to the case in Jena.
"There has just been too much that has gone on here in Jena," he said. "It would be impossible for everyone to put aside those feelings."
Purvis, who attended the hearing neatly dressed in a white shirt, black slacks and a necktie, was accompanied by his mother and brother.
Now a senior attending classes in Texas, Purvis said he's concentrating on his studies and basketball, and hopes to attend college.