Accoridng to the Sun-Sentinel, Michael Brewer, the 15 year old burn victim from Deerfield Beach, Florida, spoke to investigators from the Broward Sheriff’s Office today. The conversation was had in Bewer’s hospital room at the Jackson Memorial Hospital Burn Center in Miami, Florida. While the details of their discussion have not been made public, the fact that the boy is speaking gives hope that his recovery is progressing in the right direction.
Brewer was also able to make a surprise phone call to his great-aunt, Patti Gendron. “It was a little raspy, but I could tell it was him, ” said Gendon.
Brewer’s recovery is undoubetly being monitored closely by prosecutors and defense lawyers alike. At the present time, three former classmates are charged with Attempted Murder for allgedly dousing the boy with rubbing alcohol and then setting him ablaze. Two additional teenagers have not been charged.
Brewer’s recovery is critical because it will directly impact the ensuing criminal prosecution. If Brewer were to succomb to his injuries, prosecutors would likely increase the charges to 1st Degree Murder. On the other hand, as Brewer’s condition improves, the charges may not increase, but he will be able to provide investigators with greater detail about the attack and reveal who exactly was responsible.
This additional information may prove to exonerate some of those charged or incriminate some of those presenly not charged. On the contrary, the additional information may serve to reinforce what investigators already beleive to be true about the case.
Ultimately, the direction this case takes will depend on what the prosecutors think they can prove in court. The more information Brewer is able to provide them, the more accurate of a case they can build. Unfortunately, in some attack cases, the only witness other than the accused is the victim. In such cases, prosecutors rely heavily on victim testimony or inferences garnered from forensic evidence.
There is no doubt that this case is nothing short of a terrible tragedy. Hopefully Brewer will make a full and speedy recovery very soon. Our prayers go out to him!