Trending Topics

17-Year-Old Could Face Up To 30 Years for Burning of Classmate

Matthew Bent, 17, faces a 30-year prison sentence for a crime his attorney says he didn’t commit. Bent attended Deerfield Beach Middle School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where a 2009 dispute over a video game got out of control. One of Bent’s middle school classmates was doused with rubbing alcohol and set on fire. Bent is among those charged with the crime.

In the opening of the attempted murder trial, attorney Perry Thurston said that Matthew “Zeke” Bent was among the group of boys involved in the 2009 burning, but it was two other young boys who actually committed the crime. Thurston explained that Bent did not have the bottle of alcohol in hand, nor did he light the victim on fire. Michael Brewer, then 15, was covered with second- and third-degree burns, which seared over 65 percent of his body. Brewer survived by leaping into an apartment complex swimming pool.

“Matthew Bent sits in this courtroom innocent of those charges,” Thurston said in an opening statement. Thurston argued that there was not a sophisticated scheme behind the incident and that Brewer was merely a bystander to the crime. But Assistant State Attorney Maria Schneider combated his allegations, stating that Bent offered to pay Denver Colorado Jarvis five dollars to pour rubbing alcohol onto a victimized Matthew Brewer.

“I’m going to ask you hold Matthew Bent responsible for his actions,” Schneider told the jury, demanding that Bent serve time for his alleged crime. Schneider told the court that Matthew Bent had a dispute with Michael Brewer over an unpaid debt, described in court papers as a $40 video game. She explained that after the group of young boys found the bottle of alcohol, Bent proceeded to give Jarvis the cash in order to finish the job.

According to statements given to police, Matthew Bent was seeking revenge. Michael Brewer refused to buy the video game from Bent a day before the attack, and Bent was trying to make brutal amends. Bent allegedly tried to steal a bicycle belonging to Brewer’s father and was arrested. That burglary charge is still pending.

Bent’s alleged partner, Denver Colorado Jarvis, 17, admitted to pouring rubbing alcohol on Michael Brewer. He was sentenced to eight years in prison. Jesus “Junior” Mendez, 18, confessed to flicking his lighter. Mendez was sentenced to 11 years.

During final juror questioning Schneider asked whether the six jurors would have a problem returning a guilty verdict for someone as young as Bent. Most said they wouldn’t have any difficulty convicting Bent of second-degree murder. The trial is expected to last two weeks.


What people are saying

2 thoughts on “17-Year-Old Could Face Up To 30 Years for Burning of Classmate

  1. Cheri Bent says:

    I am Matthew Bents mom, My son is innocent. At the time of the incident We did not have a house nor cell phones. My son did not have any problems with Michael Brewer, my sons problem was mouthing off to a white man that called him a NIGGER. That white man was Micheal Brewer Sr., yes he was at their house where he did not belong. Michael Brewers sister saw my son Matthew Bent on their porch with Michael Brewer and his hand on the bicycle went back into the house and told her parents he was stealing the bike , Michael Brewer Sr(Father) came out and said "NIGGER GO HOME" my son mouthed off to him and left, Michael Brewer Sr then decided to get into his car and chase my son down and the same time he had two other boys in the car with him who were later witnesses in the case and attempted to run my son over with his car. When Michael Brewer Sr returned home his wife said lets' just call the cops on him and say he stole the bike, the police came to my house both my husband and I were not home at the time, the police then took my son to the park and left him there for a half hour, now if he stole this bike, why would they take him to a park and leave him there? My son waited because he did nothing, they then came back and told him they will have to arrest him as my son is being questioned at the police station the officer informed him that she believes the Brewers and he is lying, we were called to pick our son up from the juvenile detention center. We kept him home from school the next day to avoid any confrontations with Michael Brewer, he later in the day went to meet his friends who did go to school that day and apparently so did Michael Brewer, as they stood there together they talked things through shook hands and went their separate ways and met up again where the incident happened. The whole case against my son was based on the day before with the stolen bike which at that time he was charged with a felony, my son received 11 years the same time as the boy that flicked the lighter, they had no way of planning this and they (prosecution) said they know this was not planned but they insisted a black boy had to hang for this even though the news reporters who dug up Michael Brewers history informed us that he has issues where he would rub his feces on the wall and many other issues, they asked ME if I felt that he set himself on fire since after the incident when he was helped by a woman out of the pool after he was burned and heard the sirens, then took the lighter out his pocket and threw it, I told them I never knew any of this. Now if this is true my son is sentenced to 11 years in prison for something he did not and would not do. My son at the age of 13 had his own Lawn mowing business, he helped neighbors from three of our surrounding cities where they were bringing leaf blowers, driving lawn mowers, etc to him and in return they only wanted him to do their lawns for about a couple of weeks, then he can go back to business as usual. My son impressed these people because they never seen a child out there doing something different and positive than other children his age were not doing. My husband and I have seven children together and not one of our children has ever been in the system, We had our girls first who all graduated high school and went on to college, his older brother who is one year older than Matthew has also graduated high school and is attending college, our last two children are on the Honor Roll at their schools and they are in middle school which is the hardest years in a childs' life. What happened to my son is a Modern Day Hanging in the South, a young boy doing positive things with his life and his youth being snatched from him, he has never been in the system, they took him from us so they can give him a criminal education, even being locked up he is still a humble sweet child he got his diploma while being incarcerated he received his High School Diploma and works as a trustee. My son is innocent and the world has to know this, the reporters ( who were all white except for the Sun Sentinel reporter who was hispanic) that know about Michael Brewer and his problems did not care because they were the LYNCH MOB, that their bosses sent them out to hang my son, from the very first day they did not care, a white boy got burned and that is all that matters somebody Black has to pay for it and my son Matthew Bent was the Target, there were 9 boys involved in this case, they were all caught in their lies at trial including Michael Brewers parents who admitted they lied when questioned on the stand. My son went through 6 judges who took themselves off the case and when it finally came down to him having a black judge, well he had to prove a point, he could not sentence my son because of an issue with a juror who came forward and said my son was innocent and they did not discuss the case against my son instead they were fighting with each other over racism and then decided to just pick the charge in the middle to get it over with, The judge (Michael Robinson), then handed the case over to Matthew Destry who we later found out that when judge Robinson cannot handle a case he hands all his cases over to Judge Destry when it is supposed to go into a pool and a judge would be picked to handle the case, even though Destry said he read the transcript where he would've seen the LIES that were revealed he still sentenced my son to 11 years in prison the same time the boy that lit the lighter. THIS IS A MODERN DAY HANGING. Thank you for your time.

  2. Cheri Bent says:

    I did not mention that the case that based the Trial on was then reduced to a misdemeanor.

Leave a Reply

Back to top