Preliminary Jury Selection Underway In Brewer Burning Case

FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The long process of finding impartial jurors in the Michael Brewer case is underway.

Matthew Bent was one of three teens who were charged with setting Brewer on fire nearly three years.

On Thursday dozens of potential jurors underwent preliminary questioning. The final selection will be made when the trial starts on June 11th.

Bent, Denver Jarvis, and Jesus Mendez were all accused of pouring alcohol on Brewer and then lighting him on fire. Brewer survived by jumping into a swimming pool, but suffered Burns over most of his body.

Bent stands accused of starting the fight because Brewer owed a $40 debt.

Both Jarvis and Mendez accepted plea deals in February.

Jarvis, who admitted to being the one who poured alcohol on Brewer, was sentenced to eight years in prison and more than two decades on probation. Mendez admitted setting Brewer on fire and received 11 years in prison.

Bent initially was going to accept a plea deal offered by prosecutors, but at the very last minute changed his mind and opted for a jury trial. Jarvis and Mendez are expected to testify against Bent during his trial.

Bent was arrested a day before the burning for allegedly trying to steal a bike from the Brewer’s home. Witnesses said it was Bent who ordered Jarvis to pour the alcohol on Brewer.

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