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After three years, justice is finally being served against the teenagers who had set another boy on fire in 2009.
17-year-old Matthew Bent, who was originally charged with second-degree attempted murder, was charged as an adult on the lesser charge of aggravated battery, officials said. He will be sentenced on July 23rd and faces between four years and five months to 15 years behind bars.
A total of three teenagers were involved in the burning of Michael Brewer. Bent, Denver Jarvis and Jesus Mendez poured alcohol over Brewer and then set him on fire. The day before they had assaulted Brewer, Bent had come to Brewer and demanded him to pay $40 that he owed him. When Brewer refused, Bent stole Brewer’s father’s bicycle. Brewer immediately went to the authorities and the police arrested Bent for the theft. The next day, Bent was released and he, Jarvis and Mendez attacked him. Eye witnesses reported they heard the teens calling Brewer a ‘snitch’ as they beat, 15-year-old Jarvis poured the alcohol on him and then 16-year-old Mendez used his lighter to set him ablaze.
Brewer ran to an apartment complex pool and dove in to put out the flames; it was about 100 yards from where he was first set on fire.
Burns covered 65% of Brewer’s body and he was hospitalized for over two months.
Despite Bent pleading not guilty, Jarvis and Mendez pleaded no contest and each are serving time in prison. During Bent’s trial, both Jarvis and Mendez also took the stand and testified against Bent.
“It’s over and done with,” Brewer had stated. “I think they’re just jerks and they got what they deserved.”