'Jena 6' Teen Pleads Guilty

Mychal Bell accepts plea deal on reduced charge, agrees to testify against others
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2007 3:15 AM CST
Marcus Jones, Mychal Bell's father, talks outside the LaSalle Parish Courthouse in Jena, La., Monday, Dec. 3, 2007. Mychal Bell, now 17, originally was charged as an adult with attempted murder in the...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Mychal Bell, one of the "Jena 6" teenagers involved in a racially charged incident in Louisiana, has pleaded guilty to second-degree battery and will serve 18 months in juvenile detention. The teen admitted in court that he knocked out Justin Barker, and he has agreed to testify against any of the other five who are charged, reports the Shreveport Times. The sentence will be served concurrently with another 18 months Bell received for three earlier offenses.

The case triggered widespread protests when the black youths were initially charged as adults with attempted murder for an assault on a white teenager. The Jena 6 assault was one of a series of escalating incidents triggered by white youths draping a tree in the school yard with nooses. "There is a lot more involved in all this that no one is discussing,” the teen's attorney said yesterday.