Sentencing phase next in Oklahoma family stabbings case

Michael Bever, Corbin Brewster
The Associated Press

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A 19-year-old found guilty in the fatal stabbings of his parents and three siblings in Oklahoma will now learn whether he will ever have the chance for parole.

The sentencing phase for Michael Bever is set to begin Thursday morning. Jurors late Wednesday night handed down their verdict after deliberating more than five hours.

Bever 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. He 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, 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.

The verdict for Michael Bever came during the fourth week of his trial. Jury selection in the case began on April 16.

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