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Burned Florida boy is back in hospital

By Rich Phillips, CNN
Michael Brewer "had been going to physical therapy and doing well, but things happen," a hospital official said.
Michael Brewer "had been going to physical therapy and doing well, but things happen," a hospital official said.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Michael Brewer had trouble breathing "and is now back in the ICU," hospital says
  • No word on whether his condition is related to burns on 65 percent of his body
  • He was burned October 12, released from hospital burn unit December 22 after skin grafts
  • Three teens charged as adults with attempted murder in connection with burning
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Miami, Florida (CNN) -- A 15-year-old boy who was burned over 65 percent of his body in October, allegedly by a group of teenagers he knew, has been readmitted to a Miami hospital after he had trouble breathing, a hospital spokeswoman said Monday.

Michael Brewer "had complications with his breathing and is now back in the ICU," said Lorraine Nelson, spokeswoman for Jackson Memorial Hospital. Brewer was admitted to Jackson Memorial's Holtz Children's Hospital on Sunday night and is in serious condition, she said.

It was not known whether Brewer's condition was related to his severe burns. He was released from Jackson Memorial's burn unit December 22, more than two months after the October 12 incident.

"He had been doing very well. He had been going to physical therapy and doing well, but things happen," Nelson told CNN.

At the time he was discharged from the burn unit, Dr. Louis Pizano, associate director of the burn center, told reporters, "From what happened in the beginning, we would have predicted probably six months, at least, in the hospital. And it is miraculous."

Brewer had three skin graft surgeries during his stay in the burn unit and was on a ventilator for almost the entire first month.

Three teenagers have been charged as adults with attempted murder in connection with the incident. Detectives said eyewitnesses told them that 16-year-old Jesus Mendez used a lighter to set fire to Brewer after Denver Jarvis, 15, allegedly poured alcohol over him, and that Matthew Bent, also 15, allegedly encouraged the attack. Detectives said Mendez admitted that he set Brewer on fire and that he made a "bad decision," according to an arrest transcript.

The three face a maximum sentence of up to 30 years in prison if convicted. Two other boys who were allegedly involved, a 13-year-old and 15-year-old, have not been charged in the attack.

A court-appointed psychologist who examined two of the five boys allegedly involved in the attack told CNN they are competent to proceed and assist their attorney.

Detectives believe that Brewer owed Bent $40 for a video game. When Brewer did not pay, police said, Bent stole Brewer's father's bicycle, then was arrested when Brewer reported him to the police.

The next day, police believe, the group sought out Brewer. Witnesses reported the group called him "a snitch" as they set him on fire.

Witnesses have said Brewer jumped into a pool to put out the flames.