TULSA, Okla. – Prosecutors say they want to take a closer look at the mental health of an Oklahoma man who is facing five counts of first-degree murder.
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.
The boys’ 2-year-old sister was found unharmed in the home, but investigators say their plan to kill her was interrupted. Robert also told detectives that Michael coerced their siblings out of locked rooms during the attack by pretending he was in danger.
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.”
Last year, Robert Bever pleaded guilty to the murder charges and was sentenced to life without parole.
However, Michael Bever pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
For months, Michael Bever’s attorney has made it clear that his defense is based on his client’s mental health.
Initially, Michael Bever’s trial was set to begin in June of 2017, but prosecutors wanted to have him evaluated by a state expert before the start of the trial.
In August, a judge pushed back Bever’s trial to April of 2018.
Now, the Tulsa World reports that District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler has requested that Michael Bever be compelled to fully participate in a mental health exam.
The Tulsa County Public Defender’s Office had its expert, Dr. Terese Hall, question Michael Bever and determined that he exhibited “severe anxiety and stress” when he talked about the murders.
Kunzweiler says since Bever’s attorneys are going to use mental illness as a defense, the prosecution would like the same opportunity to interview him.
According to court documents, the last time the prosecution attempted to evaluate Bever, he did not fully cooperate.
However, the defense argues that Bever still has a right against self-incrimination.
The Tulsa County judge delayed ruling on the request until hearing further arguments next month.