Judge in Matthew Bent case recuses himself

By Ross Palombo, Investigative Reporter, rpalombo@Local10.com
Published On: Jul 30 2012 09:47:32 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 31 2012 02:40:27 PM EDT

The judge awaiting sentencing for Matthew Bent, the teen convicted of aggravated battery for his role on the attack against Michael Brewer, has recused himself from the case without saying why.

MIAMI -

The judge awaiting sentencing for Matthew Bent, the teen convicted of aggravated battery for his role on the attack against Michael Brewer, has recused himself from the case without saying why.

Michael Robinson, the judge presiding over the case, formally stepped aside on Monday.

It all began in 2009, when three teens were accused dousing then 15-year old Brewer with alcohol, setting him on fire, and nearly scorching him to death.

Two of the three took plea deals. But Bent, 17, went to trial for attempted murder this year. He was convicted of aggravated battery and now faces up to 15 years in prison.

Shortly after the conviction, a juror came forward and claimed that there were racist comments made during deliberations. She also claimed that she was pressured to go along with other jurors to convict Bent.

On Tuesday, the first hearing with the new judge will be held to understand how to move forward. Bent's attorneys are hoping for an acquittal or for a new trial. It's uncertain whether they will get either.

Meantime, Bent remains in the Broward County Jail.

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