FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Lawyers representing the teenagers accused of setting Michael Brewer on fire in a Deerfield Beach parking lot last year have rejected a plea deal offered by prosecutors, but they have not ruled out a change of plea that would bring a resolution to the case without a trial.
The defendants were in court Wednesday morning, appearing for the first time before Broward Circuit Judge Jeffrey Levenson, who was assigned the case after the previous judge, Carlos Rebollo, recused himself last month.
Assistant State Attorney Maria Schneider said prosecutors discussed a deal in exchange for guilty pleas from Matthew Bent, Denver Jarvis, and Jesus Mendez, but the deal was rejected by their lawyers. Neither she nor the defense would discuss the details of the rejected deal.
Lawyers said they will be back in court on Friday afternoon, but no one would predict what might happen at that time.
"There will be a hearing to discuss the disposition of this case," Schneider said.
That could mean anything, said Gordon Weekes, the attorney representing Bent. The case could be resolved through trial, through a plea agreement, or with an open plea, in which the defendants would plead guilty without striking a deal with prosecutors.
Weekes declined to comment about what he thought would happen Friday.
Brewer, now 16, survived burns over two-thirds of his body by jumping into a swimming pool after he was set on fire. The suspects have been charged with second degree attempted murder.
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