Jacksonville, FL - The Jacksonville teen charged with ties to terrorism and al Qaeda has pled not guilty.
19-year-old Shelton Bell’s public defender entered the plea in federal court today on Bell’s behalf, while he sat next to her. Bell was wearing the standard prison orange jumpsuit, contrary to the polo and khakis in his first appearance. His lawyer, Lisa Call, tells me it’s the federal marshal’s choice now that he is formally in federal custody which happened after his first appearance. The cuffs around his ankles and waist remained.
Judge Monte C. Richardson reread many of the standard questions and rights to Bell before the plea was entered. Following the plea, several intermediate court dates were set, and Richardson then indicated Bell would see trial starting some time between October 7th and 18th.
The federal indictment against Bell obtained by WOKV includes two charges: conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and attempt to provide material support to terrorists. Federal investigators claim Bell was training locally for a violent attack which he called a ‘jihad’ overseas. They further say he was recruiting for that attack, traveled overseas as part of his plan, and even performed vandalism at a local cemetery in connection to his recruiting efforts.
At his first appearance, Bell did not appeal the prosecutor’s request to retain him without bail because he is already in Duval County Jail on unrelated charges.