Interrogation released of convicted teen

March 6, 2012 at 9:27 AM

DEERFIELD BEECH, Fla., March 6 (UPI) -- Pre-trial interrogation videos have been released of Jesus Mendez, sentenced last month for setting fire to Michael Brewer in a Florida parking lot.

Mendez, 18, told police hours after his arrest on Oct. 13, 2009: "I was like the last one to run. Everybody ran before me. I was trying to think, should I help or should I run?"

He ran.

In response to a public records request, the Broward State Attorney's Office made the nearly three hours of video public, which show Mendez confessing to the split-second flick of a lighter which caused the now 17-year-old Brewer to go up in flames in the parking lot of a Deerfield Beach apartment complex.

He identified his friends involved in the incident, saying he and a group of at least five other boys found a container of rubbing alcohol while walking home from school. They used it to douse Brewer because one of his friends was angry with Brewer over a $40 debt.

Brewer survived by jumping into a nearby swimming pool. He suffered second and third degree burns over two-thirds of his body, and remained in the hospital for over two months, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.

Mendez entered a plea of no contest to a charge of second-degree attempted murder last month, and was sentenced to 11 years in state prison, one year of community control and 18 years of probation.

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