Jena 6 Teen Goes Free on Bail

Move comes after prosecutors decide not to seek adult trial
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2007 8:20 PM CDT
Mychal Bell, right, one of the Jena Six, with attorney Carol Powell Lexing leaves LaSalle Parish Courthouse in Jena, La., Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007.(AP Photo/Kita Wright)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The black teenager jailed in the Jena 6 case walked out of a Louisiana courthouse free on bail today. A judge released Mychal Bell, 17, on $45,000 bail hours after prosecutors decided not to seek an adult trial, the Associated Press reports. The prosecution of Bell and five other black teenagers in the beating of a white student has triggered weeks of racial tension.

Bell and the other defendants, all of whom had been freed on bail previously, still face trials in juvenile court. Prosecutors initially charged them with attempted murder, a move that drew accusations of racial discrimination and triggered civil rights rallies.  "He goes home because a lot of people left their homes and stood up for him," said Al Sharpton.