The Associated Press reports that the attorney for a black teenager whose prosecution in the beating of a white classmate led to one of the largest civil rights protests in years says his client is close to a plea bargain that would allow him to avoid a second trial. Mychal Bell, 17, could enter the plea as early as today, according to his lawyer, Carol Powell Lexing.
Bell has been charged with aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy. He was originally accused of attempted murder and charged as an adult but the charge was reduced before a jury convicted him in June of aggravated second-degree battery. In September, that verdict was thrown out by an appeals court that said Bell should be tried as a juvenile.