Mychal Bell, the black Louisiana teenager in jail since December for the battery of a white classmate, was not released on bail yesterday, as has supporters had hoped. The day after a demonstration that brought 10,000 civil rights activists to the tiny town to protest the treatment of the teenagers, a juvenile court judge denied his request to be freed while an appeal of his conviction is being reviewed.
The only member of the "Jena Six" to be tried for the beating, Bell was convicted of aggravated second-degree battery, but the conviction was overturned on the grounds that, 16 at the time of the attack, should not have been tried as an adult. Bell had a juvenile criminal record prior to the Jena case. At a separate hearing, a judge refused a request from defense attorneys to remove the from Bell's case, the father of one of Bell's co-defendants told the AP.