Matthew Bent, the teenager accused of ordering Denver Jarvis to pour a container of isopropyl alcohol on Michael Brewer, who was subsequently lit on fire and left with second and third degree burns over two-thirds of his body.
Bent was not convicted of the attempted murder charge, however, he was found guilty of aggravated battery in the October 2009 incident.
After Bent’s conviction, one of the jurors later claimed that she wanted to acquit Bent of all charges but felt pressured by the others to reach a compromise verdict. Additionally, she accused other jurors of discussing aspects of the case before the trial was over and included race in their deliberations.
Broward County Circuit Judge Matthew Destry reviewed the allegations, interviewing all the jurors and listening to arguments from both sides and determined that there was no indication anyone discussed facts or testimony before they were supposed to and addressing race throughout deliberations was legally appropriate.
Matthew Bent’s request for a new trial was denied Monday by Destry. He ruled that there wasn’t enough proof of juror misconduct to set aside the jury’s verdict in the burning of Michael Brewer.
Bent faces 15 years in prison on the aggravated battery conviction. The date of the sentencing hearing is unknown.