Burned Florida Teen Thought He Would Die From Attack

By: Associated Press, CBS
By: Associated Press, CBS

Burned Florida Teen Thought He Would Die From Attack

Fort Lauderdale, FL (AP) - June 14, 2012 --

A South Florida teenager who was doused with alcohol and set ablaze by middle school classmates testified that he thought he was going to die and feared the attack's alleged ringleader.

Michael Brewer also testified Thursday the 2009 attack came after he refused Matthew Bent's attempt to force him to buy a marijuana pipe. Brewer, now 17, acknowledged under cross-examination that he lied earlier about the debt relating to a video game.

Bent, also 17, faces a potential 30-year prison sentence if convicted of attempted murder. Prosecutors say Bent sought revenge over the money dispute and Bent's alleged attempt to steal a bicycle belonging to Brewer's father.

Brewer told jurors he remembered cold liquid being poured on his back and then hot fire. He survived by leaping into a pool.


2 Who Admitted Roles in Teen Burning to Testify

Fort Lauderdale, FL (AP) -- June 13, 2012 --

A teenager who admitted dousing a Florida middle school classmate with alcohol before the boy was set on fire says the alleged ringleader offered him money to do it.

Denver Colorado Jarvis testified that 17-year-old Matthew Bent offered him $5 or $10 to pour the flammable liquid on the victim, Michael Brewer. Jarvis is serving prison time after pleading no contest to attempted second-degree murder charges.

Another teenager, Jesus Mendez, also pleaded no contest and admitted flicking a lighter that set Brewer ablaze in October 2009. He also was sentenced to prison.

Bent, also 17, faces up to 30 years behind bars if convicted. Prosecutors say he had a dispute with Brewer over a purported debt and alleged bike theft attempt.

Brewer survived after leaping into a swimming pool.


Jury Seated for Florida Teen Fire Attack Trial

Fort Lauderdale, FL (AP) -- June 11, 2012 --

A jury has been seated for the trial of the alleged ringleader in an attack on a South Florida teenager who was set on fire.

Opening statements are expected Tuesday in Broward County Circuit Court. A six-person jury plus two alternates were chosen out of about 200 questioned for the attempted murder trial of 17-year-old Matthew Bent. Bent has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors say Bent orchestrated the attack on then-15-year-old Michael Brewer, who was doused with rubbing alcohol and set ablaze in October 2009. Brewer survived after jumping into an apartment complex swimming pool but suffered severe burns.

Two other youths have pleaded no contest and received prison terms. Bent could get up to 30 years if convicted.

The trial is expected to last about two weeks.

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