3 Florida teens accused of setting boy on fire face attempted murder

By Rich Phillips
Fort Lauderdale, Florida (CNN) — Three teens who allegedly set a 15-year-old friend ablaze were charged Monday as adults, and with attempted murder, prosecutors said.

The state attorney’s office in Broward County, Florida, identified the three youths as Denver Jarvis and Matthew Bent, age 15, and Jesus Mendez, age 16. They are charged with one count each of attempted murder in the second degree in the October attack.

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

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

The two — ages 13 and 15 — were charged earlier in juvenile court with aggravated battery.

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

A lawyer representing Denver Jarvis said she does not think her client should be charged as an adult. “The juvenile system is designed to deal with children criminally charged. Broward county has chosen to ignore the juvenile system,” attorney Valerie Small Williams told CNN.

“My client has no criminal history other than a misdemeanor trespass. I’m pretty disappointed,” Williams said. Full story.


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