No verdict yet in Bent trial

Suspect could face 30 years in prison

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A jury continues its deliberations in the trial of Matthew Bent, who is accused of orchestrating the fiery attack on Michael Brewer, then 15.

After deliberating for less than three hours Monday, the jury reconvened at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

At about noon, the jury sent a note to the judge explaining that they are having a difficult time listening to the audio-recorded conversations between Bent and two others suspected of involvement in the 2009 incident in which Brewer was doused with alcohol and set on fire. The alleged accomplices are Denver Jarvis and Jesus Mendez, who are already serving prison time.

The recordings were taken of conversations between the teens and the detectives at the Pompano Beach Police Department shortly after their arrests. They also contain conversations among the teens when detectives left the room.

The judge told jurors that no transcripts of the conversations exist, and thus they were not in evidence. He offered a new machine to play back the tapes in the hope that jurors have an easier time hearing the conversations.

Bent, now 17, is accused of attempted second-degree murder. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 30 years in prison.

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