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One of the teens in a group that set a friend on fire says he's sorry and that it wasn't planned

DEERFIELD BEACH — There was no plot to attack Michael Brewer, his former friend Jeremy Jarvis said Tuesday. There was no organized scheme to surround him, pour an accelerant on him and set him ablaze.

Jarvis, 13, wasn't permitted by his lawyer to explain how the notorious Oct. 12 attack took place, but there was one thing he did say: It wasn't planned.

Jarvis made his first public statement Tuesday morning, reading from a prepared text in front of his lawyer's Fort Lauderdale office. "I want to express my deepest sympathy for Mikey and his family," said Jarvis. "I will pray for Mikey to grow stronger every day and have a speedy recovery."

Jarvis described his relationship with Brewer, 15, as a friendship that deepened considerably over the past year, as both were students at Deerfield Beach Middle School. "He was one of my best friends," Jarvis said.

And there was no falling out between them, he said. The friendship continued right up until the moment Jarvis and four others encountered Brewer at an apartment complex where Brewer was going to visit a friend.

Jarvis was the youngest of the five teenagers originally accused of taking part in the attack on Brewer. According to reports released so far, Jarvis was accused only of being part of the group that surrounded Brewer. He was not described as an active participant, and no charges were filed against him or fellow friend Steven Shelton, 16.

But prosecutors still have time to revisit that decision, and with Brewer finally giving his account of the incident to investigators on Monday, Jarvis' lawyer wasn't going to take a chance that his client might say something to inadvertently incriminate himself.

Three other teenagers are being held without bail on attempted-murder charges. Matthew Bent, 15, is accused of directing the attack. Jarvis' brother, Denver Colorado "D.C." Jarvis, is accused of pouring rubbing alcohol on Brewer. And Jesus Mendez, 16, is accused of lighting the fire, injuring himself in the process.

All three have been charged as adults.

Brewer suffered second- and third-degree burns over two-thirds of his body. He is in guarded condition at the Jackson Memorial Hospital Burn Center in Miami.

According to the Broward Sheriff's Office, the group of teenagers found the rubbing alcohol at the Limetree Village apartment complex where the attack took place. Bent allegedly directed the others to pour it on Brewer in retaliation for Brewer's calling 911 on him the day before for allegedly trying to steal a custom bicycle belonging to Brewer's father.

The conflict between Brewer and Bent started, according to investigators, over $40 Brewer owed Bent for a video game.

One of the teens in a group that set a friend on fire says he's sorry and that it wasn't planned 11/24/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 24, 2009 10:13pm]
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