Attorney for teen accused of killing family files motion challenging adult charges
BROKEN ARROW, Okla. – The younger of the two brothers who are accused of stabbing five of their family members to death is challenging the constitutionality of the Oklahoma law that denies him the ability to be certified as a juvenile or youthful offender.
According to the Tulsa World, Tulsa County Public Defender Rob Nigh filed a motion for his client Michael Bever, 16, applying to certify the teen as a child or youthful offender and asking to stay proceedings in the case.
Michael and his 18-year-old brother, Robert Bever, are charged with five counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of their parents, David and April, and three of their siblings, ages 5, 7, and 12.
They are also charged with assault and battery with intent to kill for the attack on their 13-year-old sister, who survived.
According to Oklahoma statute, defendants ages 15 to 17 who are charged with first-degree murder must be prosecuted as adults and not be subject to the provisions of the Youthful Offender Act or the Juvenile Code for certification.
Nigh’s motion states that the law allowing juveniles to be charged as adults violates his client’s due process rights under the 14th Amendment.
Nigh is asking to stay proceedings in the case so that he can present evidence on why Michael should be certified as a juvenile delinquent or a youthful offender.
As of now, the brothers are scheduled to appear in court Oct. 9 for a preliminary hearing.