Three years to the day after a group of Deerfield Beach Middle School classmates doused Michael Brewer with rubbing alcohol and set him on fire, nearly killing Brewer, a Broward judge will interview six jurors about their June deliberations before reaching a guilty verdict against the teen accused of inciting the attack.
Jurors’ responses could lead to a new trial for Matthew Bent, 18, who was found guilty of aggravated battery for his role in the attack, and faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
Broward Circuit Judge Matthew Destry recalled the jurors after defense attorneys moved for a new trial based on allegations by the jury forewoman, who alleged that fellow jurors in the trial began discussing the facts and reaching conclusions before closing arguments.
“The record is incomplete with regard to whether jurors began their deliberations early,’’ Destry said at a September hearing.
Destry also has yet to rule on Bent’s motion for acquittal, which is based on defense attorneys’ claims that there was insufficient evidence to prove that any of the teens involved in the attack intended to set Brewer on fire.