Judge To Rule Next Week on Whether to Allow New Trial in Burning Case

A new trial for Matthew Bent was up for discussion at a hearing Thursday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    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. (Published Friday, Jul 6, 2012)

    A Broward Circuit Court judge says he will decide on Tuesday whether to allow a new trial for one of the Florida teenagers convicted of dousing a middle school classmate with alcohol and setting him on fire.

    Broward Circuit Judge Matthew Destry, who took up the Matthew Bent case in July, heard arguments on both sides Thursday.

    Jury Finds Matthew Bent Guilty in Teen Burning Trial

    [MI] Jury Finds Matthew Bent Guilty in Teen Burning Trial
    17-year-old convicted on lesser charge of aggravated battery. Prosecutors and defense speak to reporters. (Published Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012)

    Bent, 18, was convicted in June of aggravated battery in the 2009 attack on Michael Brewer, who was then 15. Brewer survived but suffered severe burns.

    Bent and Brewer's family were present at Thursday's hearing along with prosecutors and attorneys, though Brewer was not.
     
    Bent faces up to 15 years in prison. His sentencing was delayed because the trial judge stepped aside following controversy involving a juror. Bent's attorneys want a new trial but there are legal complications to be sorted out first.
     
    Two other teenagers pleaded no contest for their roles in the attack and are in prison.

    New Judge Holds Hearing in Brewer Attack Case