Attorney may seek insanity defense for Oklahoma teen accused of stabbing family

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TULSA, Okla. – An attorney for an Oklahoma teenager charged along with his older brother in the stabbing deaths of their parents and three siblings may seek an insanity defense in his client’s case.

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.

KJRH says 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 killing everyone in the home, they planned to purchase bins and store their dead family members in the attic.

Investigators say they also planned to make two videos; one for law enforcement and one for YouTube.

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.”

Earlier this year, Robert Bever’s attorney said his client wanted to plead guilty to all charges.

Robert Bever
Robert Bever

Robert Bever took the stand to plead guilty. A judge sentenced him to life without parole.

Michael Bever remained silent when asked for a plea, so the judge entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

He is charged with five counts of first degree murder and one count of assault and battery with intent to kill.

Michael Bever
Michael Bever

Michael Bever’s attorney filed a motion to have the charges against him dropped, arguing that Michael is not being protected as a youthful offender.

However, that motion was denied by the judge.

This week, Michael Bever’s attorney filed a notice of intent to raise the question of his client’s mental status at the time of the killings, the Tulsa World reports.

A discovery hearing for Michael Bever is set for April 11, with a jury trial scheduled for June 5, 2017.


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