(FinalCall.com) - Jena, Louisiana - After serving over nine months behind bars,17-year-old Mychal Bell of the "Jena Six" was set free Thursday on $45,000 bail, just hours after District Attorney Reed Walters publicly confirmed that he would no longer seek an adult trial for Bell. Bell still faces trial as a juvenile stemming from the December fight that took place at Jena High School.
"I am very happy to have my son out", stated Marcus Jones to the Final Call via telephone. "Thank you to everyone who has supported us." His son was all smiles during the press conference outside the courthouse.
"We still have mountains to climb, but at least this is closer to an even playing field," said the Rev. Al Sharpton during the press conference following Bell's release ."He goes home because a lot of people left their home and stood up for him,"
"I told Mychal that we have just scored another touchdown! The game isn't over but we just scored another point on them", stated Attorney Lewis Scott to the Final Call in a phone coversation following Bell's release. "I thank you for continuing to cover this story and all that you have done to help. We are now going to await the trial date for the juvenile charge." Scott is heading to Washington Friday to conduct a seminar on injustice in America at the Congressional Black Caucus Convention.
Bell faces juvenile court charges of aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy to commit the same crime. Previously facing 15 years in prison, he now could be held until he turns the age of 21 if found guilty. Bell's adult conviction was overturned on September 14 and Walters stated that he would appeal the decision. On Thursday, he said he still believes there was legal merit to trying Bell as an adult but decided it was in the best interest of the Justin Barker and his family to leave it to the juvenile court.
"They (victim's family)are on board with what I decided," Walters at his news conference held Thursday afternoon. He also added that the huge protest on September 20 had nothing to do with his decision.
Bell is among the six Black Jena High School students arrested in December after Barker was reportedly beaten unconscious but was later seen a a school function that same night. The other five are Carwyn Jones, Robert Bailey Jr, Theo Shaw, Bryant Purvis and Jessie Beard. The initial charges of attempted murder have been dropped to aggravated second-degree battery for four of them,Purvis has yet to be arraigned and Beard is being charged as a juvenile.
The Final Call Newspaper will continue to follow and provide reports on the latest news concerning the Jena 6.
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