The Associated Press reports that an Oklahoma teen convicted of killing his family has been sentenced to 5 life sentences for his crimes. In Tulsa, Michael Bever, now 19 years old, stabbed his parents and three siblings to death in 2015. Two other siblings survived the attack. Michael’s older brother, Robert, was also involved in the killings. Michael was convicted on the five counts of first-degree murder in May, and Robert pleaded guilty in 2016 and is serving a life sentence without parole.
Michael was also convicted of one count of assault and battery with intent to kill for the attack on his 13-year-old sister. Another sister, only 2 at the time, wasn’t harmed. In addition to the five life sentences, he was given 28 years for the assault charge.
No motive for the killings have ever been revealed. Neighbors of the family have said the children were home-schooled and were forbidden to play with other children. After the attack, Robert told authorities the parents beat him. He explained his father dragged him once because he left a light on and his mother hit him so hard it left marks. He planned the murders, hoping he would become famous for them.
Michael’s attorneys argued in court that his older brother influenced him, and Robert even testified he wanted all responsibility for the murders. Prosecutors, however, argued that Michael should not be given parole because he was a willing participant.
In Oklahoma, 85 percent of each sentence must be served before an inmate can be considered for parole; life sentences are considered at 45 years. Taking Michael’s sentences consecutively puts him at 215 years that must be served before reaching parole eligibility.
His attorneys plan to appeal the sentences.
*Photo credit The Associated Press