Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mychael Bell Denied Opportunity To Play High School Football

In my report on my interview with Mychael Bell's attorney Lewis Scott last month; I notified you that Bell had been attending public school since last January, and was awaiting to see if he'd be granted eligibility to play this fall during his senior year.

Apparently not.

'Jena 6' defendant Mychal Bell won't play for Carroll High
Gannett News Service • August 28, 2008

BATON ROUGE — Despite impassioned pleas from his parents, attorneys and Carroll High School officials, Mychal Bell was denied an extra season of athletic eligibility by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association on Wednesday.

The LHSAA's five-member hardship committee unanimously voted not to grant Bell permission to play this season at Carroll High School in Monroe.

Bell, one of the "Jena Six" defendants accused of beating a fellow Jena High School student in December 2006 and the only one to be tried so far, has been attending classes at Carroll since January as part of his plea agreement.

After being arrested and charged as an adult for attempted second-degree murder in the attack on Justin Barker, Bell spent 10 months in prison awaiting trial. He was convicted of second-degree battery, only to have that conviction overturned on the grounds that he shouldn't have been tried as an adult.

Bell took a plea agreement as a juvenile and was sentenced to 18 months as a ward of the state.

Marcus Jones, Bell's father, pleaded for the hardship committee to give his son one more chance to play football.

After the decision, Jones laid the blame at the feet of Bell's lawyers.

"If it weren't for his attorney, Mychal would be able to play football," Jones said. "They coerced him into taking that plea agreement. If he wouldn't have taken that plea, he wouldn't be in the position he's in now."

What the hell is his dad talking about, this guy is nuts. If he hadn't taken the plea agreement he'd still be locked up, so how would he play football? This guy just dogs everybody who's helped his son. First he turns on Color of Change who raised most of the money for all the Jena 6's defense, now he's attacking the lawyers.

Alan Bean, the first activist to take up the Jena 6 case in a major way and is the one who got it out to the national media initially; has told me that Marcus took a disliking to Color of Change president James Rukur back in the early summer of last year; for reasons that aren't apparent.

Marcus Bell appears to have a problem with anyone who participates but doesn't jump for him. I don't think the guy is all there.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

After Removal Of Judge, Jena 6 Defendants Look To Remove Prosecutor

I was one of the first to report to you Reed Walters conflict of interest regarding being the school board lawyer that recommended the noose hangers receive lighter punishments, then being the prosecutor at the same time.

Also, we made you aware that Judge Mauffray, Reed Walters personal buddy was thrown off the Jena 6 case by a court last month.

Now both come into play as Walters is target for removal.

With judge dismissed, Jena 6 backers now target prosecutor
By Howard Witt | Tribune Correspondent
August 6, 2008

HOUSTON - Fresh from their successful effort to remove a local judge on the grounds that he was biased against them, the defendants in the racially charged Jena 6 case in Louisiana are now seeking the recusal of the local prosecutor for similar reasons.

Attorneys for the five remaining black youths, whose prosecution for beating up a white classmate at Jena High School sparked a civil rights march through the Louisiana town last September, contend that LaSalle Parish District Atty. Reed Walters has a conflict of interest because of his dual role as local prosecutor and counsel for the local school board.

Moreover, the lawyers assert in a motion to recuse Walters that his "bias became clear" when he declined to prosecute three white students who hung nooses from a tree in the high school courtyard in what was seen as a threat directed at black students. Many black residents of Jena regarded the act as a hate crime. The noose incident set off months of racial fights in the town, culminating in the beating incident.

Walters has disputed allegations of bias. But he'll be denied a friendly local judge when the recusal motion comes up for a hearing. That's because Rapides Parish District Judge Thomas Yeager was picked to preside over the Jena cases, following Yeager's decision last week to recuse LaSalle Parish District Judge J.P. Mauffray Jr.