Oklahoma jury finds younger of 2 brothers guilty in deaths
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A jury in Oklahoma found the younger of two brothers guilty late Wednesday night of fatally stabbing their parents and three siblings.
Jurors handed down the verdict during the fourth week of the trial of Michael Bever, 19, who was charged with five counts of first-degree murder and one count of assault and battery with intent to kill for his role in the July 2015 stabbings. Jury selection in the case began on April 16.
The jury deliberated more than five hours. The sentencing phase will begin Thursday morning to determine whether he will ever have the chance for parole, the Tulsa World reported.
Bever was 16 when authorities said he and brother Robert Bever, 21, killed their parents, two younger brothers and 5-year-old sister.
Robert Bever, who was 18 at the time of the killings, pleaded guilty in 2016 and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Michael Bever was accused of acting with his older brother to stab their parents and younger siblings to death inside their home in Broken Arrow, located about 14 miles (23 kilometers) southeast of Tulsa. A fourth sibling was critically injured and a toddler was unhurt.
Michael Bever did not testify in his own defense, and his attorneys relied heavily on the testimony of Robert Bever, who told his brother’s jury that he wanted to take responsibility for all of his family members’ deaths.
Robert Bever testified that he lied to police about Michael Bever’s involvement and that he did not see his brother attack anyone.
But Robert Bever also testified that his brother knew about his plans to kill their family before the attack and that he tricked three of his siblings into opening locked doors after they attempted to hide from the older brothers.
In a videotaped interview that jurors saw last week, Michael Bever told two detectives that he stabbed his 10-year-old brother and his mother, April Bever. Her blood was found on the T-shirt he was wearing when he was arrested.