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No bond for 3 teens charged as adults in burning of 15-year-old

By Rich Phillips, CNN
Denver Jarvis, 15, was charged Monday with the attempted murder of Michael Brewer, 15.
Denver Jarvis, 15, was charged Monday with the attempted murder of Michael Brewer, 15.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Three teens denied bond Tuesday on adult charges of attempted murder
  • NEW: Defense attorneys said they would file motions for bond with the trial judge
  • Denver Jarvis, 15, Matthew Bent, 15 and Jesus Mendez 16, will be tried as adults
  • The victim, Michael Brewer, 15, remains in critical condition at Miami hospital

Fort Lauderdale, Florida (CNN) -- Three teens accused of setting a 15-year-old friend ablaze were held without bond Tuesday on adult charges of attempted murder.

The three youths, Denver Jarvis and Matthew Bent, age 15, and Jesus Mendez, age 16, each are charged with one count of attempted murder in the second degree in the October attack.

Broward County Judge John Hurley addressed the teens during the short bond hearing.

"Based upon the horrific allegations of these defendants, dousing the alleged child victim in this case with a flammable liquid, and turning the child victim into a human torch -- for the safety of our community, and other children in the community, this court orders that you all be held with no bond until further court order. Do you understand ?"

They all nodded yes.

Defense attorneys said they would file motions for bond with the trial judge, when one has been assigned.

Two other boys also were taken into custody in the incident but prosecutors did not file charges against them as adults, said Maria Schneider, assistant state attorney in charge of the county's juvenile unit. She emphasized Monday that the investigation is continuing.

"This is a very active, ongoing investigation," she said. "As additional information becomes available, then we have the option to revisit our filing decision."

The two, ages 13 and 15, have been charged in juvenile court with aggravated battery.

The three charged as adults likely will be arraigned next week, according to prosecutors, who said the other two teens will be released.

The victim, Michael Brewer, 15, remains in critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, with burns over 65 percent of his body.

He is heavily sedated but took a giant step forward on Tuesday when doctors removed the life-support system that had breathed for him since he was hospitalized.

Video: Teen's burns called horrific
RELATED TOPICS
  • Teenagers
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Miami

"They're watching him now. He's breathing on his own. We are cautiously optimistic," said Loraine Nelson, a spokeswoman for the hospital. "It's a good sign. He's still critical and he has a long way to go," she told CNN.

Brewer remains heavily bandaged to cover his open burn wounds, and the bandages must be changed daily in a four-hour painstaking process.

Brewer's desperate fight for life began on October 12, when he was doused with rubbing alcohol and set on fire. Police said it happened after Brewer reported to police that one of his friends stole his father's bicycle. Police say the bicycle was stolen because Brewer did not pay one of the boys $40 for a video game.

According to police, witnesses said a group of teens called Brewer "a snitch" as they poured the alcohol over him, and one of them used a lighter to set him on fire

Dr. Nicholas Namias, medical director of the hospital's burn center, has said Brewer is "getting a tiny bit better every day."

He has two things on his side, Namias said -- his youth and the fact that his hands and face are not burned, which can be physically and emotionally scarring.

"Our expectation is survival, and we would be devastated if he didn't, but I don't think that we would be surprised if he didn't," the doctor said.

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