Brewer: Attackers 'knew exactly what they were doing'

Published On: Feb 15 2012 10:30:24 AM EST   Updated On: Feb 16 2012 10:43:47 AM EST

Two suspects in the burning of a 15-year-old boy in 2009 learn their sentences, and the victim in the attack says they "should get longer."


Two suspects in the burning of a 15-year-old boy in 2009 learned their sentences Wednesday.

Jesus Mendez pleaded no contest to a charge of second-degree attempted murder in the October 2009 attack on Michael Brewer.

VIDEO: Brewer family reacts

Mendez, then 16 years old, Denver Jarvis and Matthew Bent, both of whom were 15, were arrested and charged as adults with second-degree attempted murder after police said they doused Brewer, then 15, with rubbing alcohol at a Deerfield Beach apartment complex and lit him on fire.

Prosecutors said the attack was not premeditated. Brewer, now 17, disagreed.

"They knew exactly what they were doing," he said.

Brewer had burns over more than 60 percent of his body and spent months in rehabilitation.

Prosecutors said the motive behind the attack was that Brewer owed Bent $40.

On Wednesday, a judge sentenced Mendez to 11 years in prison followed by one year of community control and 18 years of probation.

Jarvis also pleaded no contest Wednesday. He was sentenced to eight years in prison, one year of community control and 21 years of probation.

Brewer said just seeing the teens accused of attacking him made him sick to his stomach.

“I think they should get longer, but it’s all right. I know they’re going to mess up anyway,” Brewer said.

“It is a very long journey, and it’s nice to be able to see the light at the end of our tunnel, and our family’s really going to start to be able to heal,” Brewer’s mother, Valerie Brewer, said. “Having to come back time and time again, you have to reopen all these wounds, and the nightmares come back and the feelings come back, and it’s really difficult. We’re looking forward to closure so we can finally heal as a family.”

Bent's trial is scheduled to begin on March 12, 2012.

"Mr. Bent has his right to have his day in court and he is demanding to have it," said prosecutor Maria Schneider.

"I'm not looking forward to the actual trial, the feelings that we're going to have to feel as a family, but we are strong. We are here for each other, and we're going to see Michael through it and when it's all over and done, we can finaly heal," Valerie Brewer said.


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