Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mychal Bell Shoots Himself After Shoplifting Arrest

I guess I'll go ahead and post on the latest with Michael Bell since so many of you are coming to this site all of a sudden; I'm sure for that purpose. I'd unoffically retired this blog (which means I stopped actively working to update it even semi-regularly); but was leaving it up for historical reference.

So here it is, from Thetowntalk.com

Mother says Bell still in hospital
By Barbara Leader • Louisiana Gannett News • December 30, 2008

MONROE - Jena Six chief figure Mychal Bell’s mother Melissa Bell says that Michael is “fine” but confirmed that he remains hospitalized Tuesday morning as a result of what police said is a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.

Melissa Bell said she did not know whether Mychal would be released from the hospital today and declined further comment.

Melissa Bell, Bell’s sister Carlissa Bell and grandmother Rosie Simmons told police at 109 Grayling Lane, Monroe, on Monday night that Mychal Bell had said because of media attention resulting from his Christmas Eve arrest, he did not feel like he could live anymore.

Bell had been arrested Christmas Eve and charged with shoplifting, resisting arrest and simple battery following an incident in Dillard’s department store at Pecanland Mall in Monroe. He was freed on $1,300 bond.

Police reports said, “Once at E.A. Conway, Mychal stated that he shot himself because he was tired of all the media attention.”

Bell’s Dec. 24 arrest occurred less than one month after he completed a sentence for his role in the beating of a fellow classmate, Justin Barker, at Jena High School in 2006. That case — Bell was charged with five black cohorts in the beating of the lone white student — led to national attention and a massive protest march in Jena, where it was alleged that the defendants, charged with attempted second-degree murder, were charged too severely because of racial bias.

Bell later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and moved from Jena to Monroe, about 80 miles north, to live with a foster family. He enrolled at Carroll High School and has sinced moved in with his grandmother in Monroe.

Louis Scott of Monroe, a former defense attorney for Bell, said that because Bell’s previous criminal convictions happened when he was a juvenile, he was considered to not have an arrest record.

Lt. Jeff Harris of the Monroe Police Department said despite previous convictions as a juvenile, Bell’s access to handguns was not legally restricted. Harris said today police do not know where he obtained the handgun he used to shoot himself...