Teen Who Set Friend on Fire Is Found Guilty of Aggravated Battery but NOT Attempted Murder

Daily Mail (London), June 19, 2012

A teenager accused of orchestrating an attack that left his classmate in flames was convicted Tuesday of aggravated battery after jurors decided against more serious charges.

Matthew ‘Zeke’ Bent faced a charge of attempted second-degree murder after prosecutors say he offered friends money in 2009 to harm Michael Brewer, who was doused in rubbing alcohol and set on fire in Deerfield Beach, Florida.

Matthew Bent

The six jurors, who deliberated for just over a day, had the option of finding him guilty of a lesser offense.

Mr Brewer suffered severe burns over 65 percent of his body but survived after leaping into an apartment complex swimming pool.


A defense attorney said the three years that Bent has been in jail awaiting trial was already a hefty penalty.

‘He thought that three years for his involvement was quite substantial,’ said defense attorney Perry Thurston, Jr. ‘He’s disappointed.’

Bent and two other teens were charged with second-degree attempted murder, which carries a prison sentence of as many as 30 years.

Denver ‘D.C.’ Jarvis, 17, and 18-year-old Jesus Mendez pleaded no contest earlier and were sentenced to eight and 11 years behind bars, respectively.

Denver Jarvis

Jesus Mendez

Bent faces a maximum term of 15 years at his sentencing hearing on July 23. His lawyers said they plan to file an appeal.

Bent initially intended to plead no contest as well, but backed out at the last minute and opted for trial. His attorneys insisted he was not the instigator of the attack and never intended to hurt Mr Brewer.

Prosecutors had urged jurors not to let Bent sidestep guilt because he had others carry out the attack.

‘Don’t let him get away with letting other people do his dirty work for him,’ Assistant State Attorney Maria Schneider said of the defendant during closing arguments Monday.

‘Matthew Bent was the reason why this crime happened. He was offering people money to beat Michael, not to scare Michael.’

Michael Brewer

Defense attorney Johnny McCray said the state was overreaching with its prosecution of Bent.

‘An innocent child doesn’t have to be convicted to bring justice to Michael Brewer,’ McCray told the jury that began deliberations Monday afternoon.


Mr Brewer testified that he stayed home from school the day of the attack because he was afraid of Bent. The two had gotten into a dispute over a marijuana pipe that Bent was trying to force Mr Brewer to buy, Mr Brewer testified. Bent then allegedly tried to steal a bicycle belonging to Mr Brewer’s father, which led to Bent’s arrest.

‘I was afraid,’ Mr Brewer testified. ‘I thought something was going to happen to me.’

After school the day of the attack, Mr Brewer decided to visit a friend at a nearby apartment complex. On the way he encountered a group of boys including Bent, Jarvis and Mendez.

The boys had found a jug of rubbing alcohol by chance on a low wall alongside the complex, and Jarvis testified that Bent offered him $5 or $10 to pour it on Mr Brewer. Other boys said Bent offered the group $5 each to punch Mr Brewer.

Jarvis did douse Mr Brewer and Mendez then flicked a lighter he was holding, sparking the blaze. In a statement to police, Mendez said he never expected the liquid to ignite so explosively.

Mr Brewer spent months in the hospital, undergoing seven skin graft operations, followed by months more of rehabilitation and physical therapy. He testified that he still feels pain in his back and legs but said he remembers little after diving into the pool.

‘I started getting really cold, and then I started seeing blur,’ Mr Brewer said. ‘When I stand too long my legs start to burn. I can barely move.’

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  • Oil Can Harry

    Ain’t diversity grand?

  • MekongDelta69

    Some great[sic] quotes:

    Defense attorney Johnny McCray:
    “An innocent child doesn’t have to be convicted to bring justice to Michael Brewer”

    “His [Bent’s] attorneys insisted he was not the instigator of the attack and never intended to hurt Mr Brewer.

    Defense attorney Perry Thurston, Jr.:
    “He thought that three years for his involvement was quite substantial. He’s disappointed.

    [Jesus] Mendez:
    “I never expected the liquid to ignite so explosively.”

    I don’t need to add any comment to the above…

    • The defense of the black person ” I be too stupid to know what would happen”

  • Screamin_Ruffed_Grouse

    Hmm… a white kid partnering up with a black and a mestizo  to torch another white kid. Hey, it’s a true rainbow coalition!

    Jokes aside, I support the ultimate sentence for whites who align themselves with primitives to attack their own.

  •  No wonder Matthew Bent is disappointed at the prospect of Federal Prison time.  He knows in Federal Prison he will be known as Matthew Bent’over.

  • IstvanIN

    A defense attorney said the three years that Bent has been in jail awaiting trial was already a hefty penalty. 

    Mathew will pay for the rest of his life for what that (redacted) did to him.

  • If they do this to their friends why would anyone want to be around them?

  • There is something quite demonic about blacks. The lack of morality, no empathy towards their victims suffering.  The way they torture you for no apparent reason and seem to enjoy it. They would kill you for something insignificant like a tooth pick or a paper clip. This article explains their behavior.


    • IstvanIN

      Look at how they treat each other, not to mention dogs and cats.

    • elitist

      I’m afraid this is why white denial of reality is so

      The absolutely gargantuan difference in cognitive ability between
      blacks and whites is probably only the tip of the iceberg.

      Even a totally brainwashed liberal like me was never able to
      fully repress a visceral, gut level awareness of the demonic, the sadistic,
      destructive quality of blacks – especially collectively.

      (My brothers and I were raised to be guilt ridden, hopelessly
      deluded race deniers, but a week of living in a majority black neighborhood as
      a child convinced me that most blacks were sadistic monsters. My
      mother got us out of there lightning fast, with the comment: “another few days
      in this hellhole, and my kids will be lifelong racists!!” Then I snapped
      back to drinnking the jummy Kool-Aid until middle-age …)

      Whites in denial are not just denying inconvenient “facts,”
      they are repressing their MOST BASIC SURVIVAL INSTINCTS, everything that is
      hardwired into us to keep us alive.

      This kind of denial is made easier for upper class whites
      who only ever encounter a small number of what John Derbishire calls IWSBs, or “intelligent,
      well socialized blacks”.

      With 650,000 black-on-white attacks annually in the US, many
      of them involving up to 50 blacks, it seems as though, in any given year, a
      large portion of the total population of blacks are involved in violent attacks
      on whites.

      A less FLAMBOYANTLY INSANE government would keep precise

      What would it mean for America to discover that, say, 1 in 4
      blacks is involved in robbing, harassing, beating, or in some way injuring a white
      every year???

      We also need precise statistics on the number of blacks that
      are clinically psychopaths, i.e. conscienceless killing machines.

      What whites in denial are afraid of finding out is that
      despite all of our efforts, cataclysmically high percentage of blacks are
      incapable of feeling empathy for others.

      How do you “integrate,” “simulate,” and “educate” people who
      derive an intoxicating sexual pleasure from tormenting and maiming others?

      It may be that the absolutely crippling cognitive deficits
      suffered by blacks is just the beginning.

      It is probably the case that a large percentage of blacks –
      perhaps even half – are also appalled by black savagery (but they don’t seem to be doing much about it!!)

      If so, then, that still leaves us with ca 20 million blacks
      who are incapable of empathy, guilt, or knowing right from wrong, who can
      slaughter & maim blacks, whites, & animals without the barest twinge of

      How many blacks are clinically sociopaths?

      The answer is probably buried somewhere in a low-profile,
      peer-reviewed article in a psychological journal.

      It’s time someone unburied it.

  • His first mistake was he made friends with a black. That’s like making friends with a lion.

  • Michael C. Scott

    Spot-on!  Remember also that the liberal elites are complete hypocrites about the benefits of diversity.  They want YOUR children exposed to the glittering wonders of multiculturalism, but did Bill and Hillary Clinton send their darling Chelsea to a Washington DC public school?  Of course not!  That sort of environment is for your children; not theirs.