The three teenagers accused of setting fire to Michael Brewer last month were denied bail this morning after being charged as adults.
Jesus Mendez, 16, Matthew Bent, 15, and Denver Jarvis, 15, are charged with second-degree attempted murder.
If convicted, they could be imprisoned for up to 15 years.
Brewer, 15, remains in critical condition at the Jackson Memorial Hospital Burn Center in Miami, recovering from second- and third-degree burns over two-thirds of his body. Relatives said this afternoon that he was taken off a ventilator and is breathing on his own for the first time since his hospitalization.
Brewer's parents, hospital officials said, have rarely left his side since the Oct. 12 incident at the Limetree Village Apartments in Deerfield Beach.
The State Attorney's Office filed formal adult charges Monday afternoon against the three boys, who are being held at the Broward County Main Jail.
Prosecutors declined to file any charges against Jeremy Jarvis, 13, and Steven Shelton, 16, who were accused in their initial arrests of being "part of the group" that surrounded Brewer.
"This is a very active, ongoing investigation," said lead prosecutor Maria Schneider. "As additional information becomes available, then we have the option to revisit our filing decision."
Stephen Melnick, the attorney for Jeremy Jarvis, has said from the beginning of the case that his client was minimally involved in the assault on Brewer.
"The main thing right now is that we all wish Michael Brewer a speedy and full recovery," he said.
Jeremy Jarvis has been expelled from Broward County schools, Melnick said.
He was reunited with his parents early Monday evening at Melnick's office, but will be staying with relatives out of town and will be home schooled, the attorney said.
John Cotrone, Shelton's lawyer, declined to comment, citing prosecutors' ability to reverse their decision within 90 days.
Valerie Small-Williams, who represents Denver Jarvis, said she was disappointed in the filing.
"This is why the juvenile court was created," she said. "Florida leads the country in the direct filing of juveniles [in adult court]."
Bent's lawer, Gordon Weekes, agreed. "I wish prosecutors had considered the treatments available in the juvenile system," he said.
Charging Bent and the other two as adults would potentially result in each being sentenced to 15 years in the prison system, released when they're in their early 30s.
"You need to weigh the need for punishment against the possibility of treatment, therapy and a view to integrating back into society," he said.
Bent is accused of being the ringleader of the group, directing the others to attack Brewer in retaliation for an incident that took place the day before.
Bent was arrested on Oct. 11 after Brewer's family told detectives Bent tried to steal a custom-made bicycle belonging to Brewer's father.
Denver Jarvis is accused of dousing Brewer with rubbing alcohol, and Mendez is accused of setting the fire.
Attorneys for Mendez have declined to comment.
Staff Writer Sofia Santana contributed to this report.
Rafael Olmeda may be reached at email@example.com or 954-356-4694.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times