Mental state at center of hearing for Oklahoma man accused of murdering family

Final hearing scheduled before Bever trial

TULSA, Okla. – Attorneys say the trial for an Oklahoma man who is facing five counts of first-degree murder may be pushed back in order to obtain another mental evaluation.

On July 22, 2015, authorities arrested Michael Bever, then 16, and his brother Robert Bever for the murder of  five people.

Authorities discovered the bodies of 52-year-old David Bever, 44-year-old April Bever, a 5-year-old girl, a 7-year-old boy and a 12-year-old boy inside the family’s home.

A 13-year-old girl, who was stabbed but survived, told police that her eldest brothers had attacked her family.

According to testimony at the hearing, detectives say that Robert Bever wanted “to have some sort of fame or notoriety for being a serial killer.”

The Tulsa World reports that Robert described killing as “a hobby,” adding that they didn’t plan to stop with just five of their family members.

The boys’ 2-year-old sister was found unharmed in the home, but investigators say their plan to kill her was interrupted.

A detective claimed that Robert Bever said he was planning on cutting off his 2-year-old sister’s head with an axe. Robert also told detectives that Michael coerced their siblings out of locked rooms during the attack by pretending he was in danger.

A detective testified that Robert Bever told him that he first started planning the murders of his family when he was 13-years-old.

He said he got a job and saved money to purchase weapons online, so checks to confirm he was an adult wouldn’t be performed.

The boys said they moved the attack up when Robert realized some of the ammunition was being sent to his home.

 

After the initial crimes were complete, the brothers planned to steal their parents’ car and drive to populated places and kill five people everywhere they stopped.

“(Robert Bever) expressed wanting to have some sort of fame or notoriety for being a serial killer,” detective Eric Bentz testified, according to the Tulsa World. “He said that if he killed more than one person, it made him like a god.”

Last year, Robert Bever pleaded guilty to the murder charges and was sentenced to life without parole.

Now, the trial for Michael Bever is just weeks away and it seems that both sides are still working out the details related to his mental state.

For months, Michael Bever’s attorney has made it clear that his defense is based on his client’s mental health, saying he is not guilty by reason of insanity.

On Monday, the Tulsa World reports that Bever’s attorney claimed that he has a doctor’s report that supports his case.

With the trial set to begin on June 5, prosecutors say they seek to challenge that report by having Bever undergo an evaluation by a state expert.

However, it is unclear if that evaluation would be complete by the start of the trial.

Michael Bever has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder and one count of assault and battery with intent to kill.