'Jena Six' trial continues next month

JENA -- Tears streamed down Melissa Bell's face Monday as the judge ruled in favor of LaSalle Parish District Attorney J. Reed Walters' motion to continue her son's trial more than a month.

Across the courtroom, wearing a black-and-white striped jumpsuit and handcuffed, Mychal Bell's head fell backward in frustration when he heard the ruling.

Bell is one of the six Jena High School students who have become known as the "Jena Six." He and Theodore Shaw were scheduled for jury trial Monday on charges of attempted second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder in connection with a Dec. 4 fight at the school that sent fellow student Justin Barker to LaSalle General Hospital.

Bell and Shaw are the only two students charged in the fight who remain in jail, each in lieu of $90,000 bond.

"(Walters) said they needed more time to get the witnesses together," Melissa Bell said outside the LaSalle Parish courtroom. "If you ain't found the witnesses yet or got together what you need, what's another month going to do. What will they do next month if he still doesn't have everything -- continue it again?"

She said her biggest frustration is that her son has been sitting in jail "day in and day out" ready to go to trial while the state has continued to postpone things.

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Update(8/2):

Here's the address that you can use to contact The Family Members of the Jena Six:

Jena 6 Defense Committee
PO BOX 2798
Jena, LA 71342
jena6defense(at)gmail.com

...and here's a statement proportedly by the family members of the Jena Six as reported by the President of the Lasalle Parrish branch, NAACP, Caseptla Bailey.

Update(9/14):

Another way to support these young boys is to send money:

Mychal Bell Legal Defense Fund
c/o Attorney Louis Scott
510 Pine Street
Monroe, LA 71201
mychalbelldefense at gmail.com

*Update 4:00pm* Read the official school policy of Jena High School for fighting

*Update(9/15)* Mychal Bell's Conviction Overturned
*Update(9/27)* Mychal Bell Makes Bail

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