‘Jena Six’ Mom is Arrested

Published April 9, 2009

The mother of Mychal Bell, one of the so-called “Jena Six” youths, was arrested Monday on charges of failure to pay child support.

The 39-year-old Melissa Bell was being held at the Caldwell Parish Detention Center as of Monday night, The Associated Press reports.

Mychal Bell is one of six Black youths who were charged with attempted murder in 2006 following a schoolyard fight with a White student in Jena, La. Their seemingly harsh prosecution sparked cries of racism, and thousands of protestors, headed by the Rev. Al Sharpton, headed to Jena to show support for the six youths.   Bell is the only one of the Jena Six youths, whose case is resolved.

Late last year, Bell shot himself with a gun and told authorities that it was a suicide attempt after being caught shop lifting. He said at the time that he thought about all of the people he had disappointed by his actions.

Written by BET.com Staff

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