Mychal Bells's Plea Agreement

If you are looking for information on Mychal Bell's plea bargain, here is a concise report by Sherrel Wheeler Stewart.

Mychal Bell, a former standout high school football player in Jena, Louisiana, was sentenced Monday to 18 months in juvenile custody for his role in the beating of a white classmate one year ago.

The sentence is part of a plea agreement accepted by LaSalle Parish Judge J.P. Mauffrey three days before Bell was set to go to trial in juvenile court for the fight with Justin Barker on Dec. 4, 2006. The case captured national attention because of the severity of the initial charges and the fact that whites who committed offenses in the town were handled differently, parents and activists said.

Under the plea, Bell:

· Admitted to second degree battery, which would be a felony punishable by up to five years in prison if he in adult.

· Was ordered to serve 18 months in the custody of the Office of Youth Development, receiving credit for time already served.

· Agreed to pay his pro rata share of restitution to the Barker family for medical costs not covered by insurance.

· Agreed to pay court costs.

· Agreed to testify truthfully in the cases of any of the five co-defendants who goes to trial.

Bell’s parents also agreed to continue paying the state child support until their son reaches the age of 18. He is 17 now.

Bell’s share of Barker’s medical bill is about $935, said Bill Furlow, a spokesman for LaSalle Parish District Attorney Reed Walters. The amount of court costs is yet to be determined, Furlow told

Now this is an appropriate punishment. And now everyone knows why the judge and DA were unwilling to charge this adolescent with misdemeanor charges from the start. That ole bugaboo. Prejudice in the legal system.