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Judge Mulls Over New Trial In Brewer Burning Case

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Matthew Bent in court on the first day of jury selection in the Michael Brewer burning case on June 11, 2012. (CBS4)

Matthew Bent in court on the first day of jury selection in the Michael Brewer burning case on June 11, 2012. (CBS4)

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South Florida Crime

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/AP) — A South Florida teen convicted in a fiery attack on middle school classmate Michael Brewer will find out next week if he will get a new trial.

On Thursday Broward Circuit Judge Matthew Destry said he would issue a decision next Tuesday in the case of 18-year-old Matthew Bent.

Bent was convicted in June of aggravated battery in the 2009 attack on Michael Brewer, who was then 15. Brewer had rubbing alcohol poured on him and he was set on fire. He survived by jumping into a swimming pool but second and third-degree burns over most of his body. He nearly died and spent months in the hospital, undergoing painful skin graft surgeries followed by lengthy physical rehabilitation.

Bent faces up to 15 years in prison. His sentencing was delayed because the trial judge stepped aside in July following controversy involving a juror.

Bent’s attorneys want a new trial for their client or an acquittal. They want a new judge to hear all the testimony in a new trial. They add that the prosecution did not prove its claim that Bent masterminded the attack.

Two other teens, Denver Jarvis and Jesus Mendez, both pleaded no contest in the attack and were sentenced to 8-years and 11-years in jail respectively.

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