OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma teenager accused of murdering his family was challenging a state law that says he must be charged as an adult.
On July 22, authorities arrested 16-year-old Michael Bever and 18-year-old 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.
Last year, Tulsa County Public Defender Rob Nigh filed a motion for his client, Michael Bever, asking that the teen be certified as a child or youthful offender.
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.
Michael Bever was just 16-years-old at the time of the crime.
On Thursday, Bever’s attorney went before the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, asking that his client be tried as a juvenile.
However, the court affirmed the trial court’s ruling, saying Michael Bever will be charged as an adult.
Michael Bever, who is now 17-years-old, and 19-year-old Robert Bever are facing five counts of first-degree murder.
A preliminary hearing for the pair is set for Feb. 23.