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Courtesy of AP

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A judge decided the fight that thrust a teenager into the center of a civil rights controversy violated his probation for a previous conviction and ordered the boy back to jail, the teen’s attorney said.

Mychal Bell, who along with five other black teenagers is accused of beating a white classmate, had gone to juvenile court in Jena on Thursday expecting another routine hearing, said Carol Powell Lexing, one of his attorneys.

Instead, state District Judge J.P. Mauffrey Jr. sentenced Bell to 18 months in jail on two counts of simple battery and two counts of criminal destruction of property, Lexing said.

“We are definitely going to appeal this,” she said. “We’ll continue to fight.”

Bell had been hit with those charges before the Dec. 4 attack on classmate Justin Barker. Details on the previous charges, which were handled in juvenile court, were unclear.

Mauffrey, reached at his home Thursday night, had no comment. (more…)

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