Bell's Attorney Says DA Has a Conflict of Interest - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Jena, LA -- September 28

Bell's Attorney Says DA Has a Conflict of Interest

There are questions today about a potential conflict of interest for the district attorney in the Jena six case. Mychal Bell's attorney, Louis Scott brought up the fact that the LaSalle Parih District Attorney, J. Reed Walters is also the attorney for the LaSalle parish school district. We called the school board and they confirmed, Walters does in fact represent the district but so do most rural parish DA's. The fight which involves the Jena six teens happened at Jena high near the schools gymnasium. Scott says if the family of Justin Barker, who is the victim in this case, decides to sue the school district, which he says is a consideration it would be a potential conflict of interest. Scott says it would explain the haste on the DA's part to move the case along. We spoke to Paul Carmoche, the Caddo parish DA who says not looking at the Jena case itself representing two such intities could be a problem.  "I do believe that there would be at least the appearance of a conflict. I think the DA would have a couple of choices to make." Scott goes on to say, "Lately you have many people coming out here lately to see what the school board did correctly." Bell's attorney says the families have until December to file civil suits. In the meantime he is considering getting the DA removed from the case as well as the judge. Mychal bell was released on bond yesterday after paying ten percent of a 45 thousand dollar bond.
Story by Tania Francois

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