FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A jury has reached its verdict in the trial of Matthew Bent, who is accused of orchestrating the attack during which Michael Brewer was set on fire.
The jury announced Tuesday afternoon that it has found Bent guilty of aggravated battery, a lesser charge.
Raw Video: Verdict announced
Bent did face a charge of attempted second-degree murder, which would have carried up to 30 years in prison. He also avoided conviction of the lesser charges of attempted manslaughter and battery.
The teen sat stoically as he heard his fate. So did his family.
"I really have no comment," said Bent's father as he walked out of court.
The aggravated battery charge carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison, up to 15 years of probation and $10,000 in fines.
Two other teenagers, Denver Jarvis and Jesus Mendez, are already serving prison time in the incident.
Prosecutors said Bent instigated the attack on Brewer, but that Jarvis doused Brewer with an accelerant, and Mendez flicked the lighter to set him on fire.
"He's disappointed. He thought three years for his involvement was quite substantial," said defense attorney Thurston Pery.
Brewer suffered burns over 65 percent of his body.
The victim's family chose not to be inside the courtroom for the verdict.
"He's a young child. He's been through a lot," said prosecutor Kal Le Var Evans.
Evans feels the verdict marks an important turning point for the teen,
"Michael Brewer spent the last three years healing from his physical wounds, he can now start moving on with his emotional wounds," said Evans.
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