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Burned Florida teen out of hospital

Michael Brewer was burned over 65 percent of his body in October.
Michael Brewer was burned over 65 percent of his body in October.
  • Michael Brewer, 15, allegedly set on fire by other teens, faces more surgery
  • He and his family are not returning home, but to an undisclosed location
  • Brewers mother plans to speak to reporters on Wednesday

Fort Lauderdale, Florida (CNN) -- A 15-year-old boy who was burned over 65 percent of his body in October when he was set on fire, allegedly by a group of teenagers, was released from the hospital Tuesday, officials said.

Michael Brewer was discharged from the University of Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital Burn Center, spokeswoman Lorraine Nelson said in a written statement.

Doctors and Brewer's mother, Valerie, will speak to reporters Wednesday, Nelson said.

Brewer's family is headed not to their Deerfield Beach, Florida, home, but to an undisclosed location, a source close to the family said. Nelson said the family had requested privacy before the teen's discharge.

Brewer suffered second- and third-degree burns over about two-thirds of his body in the October 12 incident, the hospital's associate director, Dr. Carl Schulman, has said. He told CNN's Tony Harris last month that the teen faces a lifelong recovery from his injuries.

"Michael's still got a lot of major surgery ahead of him, a lot of rehabilitation and therapy," Schulman said. "... the recovery is lifelong. This is truly a life-changing event."

The hospital released some photographs of Brewer taken Tuesday morning in the hospital's rehabilitation unit. In the pictures his burns are clearly visible.

Three teens -- Denver Jarvis and Matthew Bent, both 15, and Jesus Mendez, 16 -- are accused of being in a group that poured alcohol over Brewer and set him ablaze in what police said was a dispute over $40, a video game and a bicycle. All three teens are charged as adults with one count of attempted murder. Each has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, each could face a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.

Detectives say eyewitnesses told them that Mendez used a lighter to set fire to Brewer after Jarvis poured alcohol over him. Bent allegedly encouraged the attack, police said. Brewer jumped into a pool at his apartment complex to put out the flames.

Authorities have said Mendez admitted setting Brewer on fire. According to an arrest transcript, the boy said he made a "bad decision."

Valerie Brewer said last month that her son's treatment at times has been excruciatingly painful. Physical therapy, she said, is "incredibly painful. He almost cries because it's so painful. He's burned badly on the backs of his knees and every time he moves his knee, it pulls, and if it's healing, it pulls the scab and it cracks and it starts to bleed."

The 13-year-old brother of one of the accused youths made a public statement in November. Jeremy Jarvis said he wanted to "express his deepest sympathy to Mikey and his family" and added he was praying for Brewer's recovery.

Jeremy Jarvis was arrested as a juvenile after the incident and spent about 30 days in juvenile detention. However, prosecutors have not filed charges against him and are still determining how to proceed. He could still be charged, as prosecutors have 90 days from his arrest to decide whether to move forward with the case.

Jeremy Jarvis' attorney, Stephen Melnick, said it appeared the younger Jarvis was only a witness to the attack.

Valerie Brewer said she was heartbroken when she learned her son's attackers may have included teens who they knew.

"But we don't focus on that," she said last month. "We focus strictly on Michael and his recovery."

CNN's Rich Phillips contributed to this report.