Attorneys for the South Florida teen convicted for his role in the fiery attack on Michael Brewer were back in court Friday to ask a judge for a new trial. Shortly after the verdict, Juror Karen Bates McCord sent a letter to Broward Circuit Judge Michael Robinson saying she did not believe Bent received a fair trial. She claimed other jurors had already made up their minds before the trial was over.
Attorneys for the South Florida teen convicted for his role in the Michael Brewer burning attack will be back in court in front of a new judge Friday morning as they continue to seek a new trial.
Matthew Bent, 17, was convicted in June in the Brewer attack but after a juror claimed she was pressured to change her decision and said she didn't think Bent received a fair trial, Judge Michael Robinson recused himself from the case.
Last month, Broward Circuit Judge Matthew Destry took over the case. A hearing before Destry in the Bent case is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Friday.
Bent faces 15 years behind bars following his conviction for aggravated battery in the 2009 burning attack on Brewer at a Deerfield Beach apartment complex.
He had been charged with attempted second-degree murder but the jury, in a unanimous verdict, found him guilty of the lesser charge.
Shortly after the verdict, juror Karen Bates McCord sent a letter to Robinson, saying she didn't understand the jury's instructions and felt pressured to find Bent guilty after she was accused of being racist by fellow jurors.
Robinson stepped down after Bent's attorneys filed a motion for the judge to take himself off the case.
Bent, who prosecutors say was the ringleader in the Brewer attack, was the only defendant who went to trial. Denver Jarvis, 17, who poured rubbing alcohol on Brewer, pleaded no contest to charges related to the attack and has been sentenced to eight years in prison with a probation term of 22 years.
Jesus Mendez, 18, who pulled out a lighter and set Brewer on fire, also pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 11 years in prison followed by 19 years of probation.