FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A defense attorney says a South Florida teenager did not plot or take part in an attack on a middle school classmate who was set on fire and nearly killed.
Attorney Perry Thurston said in an opening statement Tuesday that Matthew Bent was present but did not orchestrate the 2009 attack on then-15-year-old Michael Brewer. Thurston told jurors the blame belongs on two other boys. He says one poured rubbing alcohol on Brewer and another lit the fire with a lighter.
Prosecutor Maria Schneider says Bent offered to pay one boy $5 to pour the alcohol on Brewer. Schneider says there was a dispute over a $40 video game.
Bent is now 17. He faces a maximum 30-year prison sentence if convicted of attempted second-degree murder.