16-year-old to be tried as adult in stabbing

TULSA, Okla. — A 16-year-old Oklahoma boy will stand trial as an adult in the stabbing deaths of his parents and three siblings, a judge ruled Monday, rejecting a request by defense attorneys to certify him as a juvenile delinquent or youthful offender.

Michael Bever and his 18-year-old brother Robert Bever are charged with first-degree murder in the July 22 deaths and have pleaded not guilty.

Attorney Rob Nigh said he would appeal Special Judge Martha Rupp Carter’s decision to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals and, if necessary, the U.S. Supreme Court.

“He’s a child,” Nigh said after Monday’s hearing. “The reality of the situation is we should not have children going to the state penitentiary.” Nigh said even though Bever is charged with first-degree murder, “that doesn’t change his biology.”

At a hearing Friday, Nigh suggested Michael Bever was struggling with mental health issues.

Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said Bever acted as an adult by conspiring with his brother to kill their father, David Bever, and mother, April, along with siblings Daniel, Christopher and Victoria.

“Oklahoma law is very clear: if anybody’s going to commit a crime of murder in the first degree, you’re going to be tried as an adult,” Kunzweiler said after the hearing.

Autopsy reports released Monday by the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office show the five family members were stabbed dozens of times and died of multiple, sharp-force injuries. The report noted that David Bever had at least 28 total wounds to his body; April Bever had at least 48 total wounds.

If convicted, Michael Bever faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Authorities have not spoken about a motive in the case. According to a search warrants affidavit, one of the brothers told police that plans for the killing were on a thumb drive inside the family’s Broken Arrow home.

Two family members survived the attack and one of them, a teenage girl, plans to testify for the prosecution at the brothers’ Jan. 22 preliminary hearing. Neither brother was present in court Monday.

More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of Feb. 19

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Friday, Feb. 23, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Rep. Tom McKay, R-Anchorage, speaks in favor of House Bill 143 on Friday. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska House approves relaxed environmental rules for ‘advanced recycling’

Applies to facilities using high heat or chemicals to turn plastic garbage into raw materials.

Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon (right) discusses the Juneau School District’s financial crisis with school board Vice President Emil Mackey (right) and City Attorney Robert Palmer during a meeting Thursday night at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Meetings to comment on Assembly’s proposed $9.6M of help to school district scheduled next two Mondays

Plan includes $4.1 million no-interest loan, picking up “shared costs” this year and next.

A crowd overflows the library at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé on Thursday night as school board members meet to select a consolidation option to help resolve the Juneau School District’s budget crisis. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
School district leaders approve putting grades 9-12 at JDHS, 7-8 and HomeBRIDGE at TMHS

Elementary schools will be K-6; Marie Drake, Floyd Dryden to close this fall if plan gets final OK.

Members of the Alaska House of Representatives celebrate the passage of a sweeping education bill on Thursday. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
House passes $680 BSA increase, with other education provisions

Bill now returns to Senate, which must pass it unchanged before it can head to the governor’s desk.

House Minority Leader Calvin Schrage, I-Anchorage, speaks during Thursday night’s floor debate on an education bill. (Screenshot from akl.tv livestream)
House approves $680 BSA increase, extra support for charter schools in education bill

Bill passes by 38-2 vote, Senate expected to concur with changes after days of negotiations.

Most Read