Teen Seeking New Trial in Michael Brewer Burning Case

Matthew Bent in court Wednesday to seek a new trial in burning case

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jurors were interviewed Friday on whether racial animosity and other misconduct occurred during deliberations in the trial of Matthew Bent. Karen Bates McCord, who made the allegations, was one of many jurors interviewed in court. Bent's attorney Perry Thurston and Michael Brewer's grandmother, Reenie Brewer, also discussed the case. (Published Friday, Oct 12, 2012)

    One of the teens convicted in the fire attack on Michael Brewer could find out soon whether he will get a new trial.

    Matthew Bent, 18, was convicted of aggravated battery for his role in the infamous 2009 fire attack on Brewer, his classmate.

    But a juror in that case complained after the trial that she was intimidated by fellow jurors and felt forced to vote guilty.

    Jurors in Brewer Burning Case Interviewed
     
    Last week, judge Matthew Destry interviewed all the jurors in a special court hearing, trying to determine if there was any validity to the juror Karen Bates-McCord's claims. The other jurors did not, for the most part, corroborate the story Bates-McCord told of being pressured to vote with the majority.

    On Wednesday, the judge will hear arguments from the prosecutor and the defense attorneys, and will begin to decide on whether to grant Bent a new trial based on the alleged juror misconduct.

    Destry said he wouldn't announce his decision until Monday morning.

    Judge Denies New Trial in Brewer Burning 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.

    Brewer Family Happy With Verdict in Bent Trial