Autopsies Indicate Mother Was Focus In Bever Family Murders
TULSA, Oklahoma - Editor's note: News On 6 has chosen not to post the autopsy reports for the five members of the Bever family. The reports are public records and should be available from the Medical Examiner's office to anyone who asks, but we've determined they're too graphic to be published here.
The Oklahoma State Medical Examiner released autopsy reports for the five members of the Bever family who were murdered over the summer.
The autopsies indicate April Bever, the mother, was the focus of the attack. April Bever, 44, had at least 48 total "sharp force" injuries on her head, torso and extremities, according to the report.
Her husband, 52-year-old David Bever, had at least 28 wounds to his head, torso and extremities, the report says.
The autopsies show 12-year-old Daniel Bever had multiple stab wounds to his chest and back, as did 7-year-old Christopher Bever and 5-year-old Victoria Bever.
All five victims had blunt force trauma to their bodies, according to the autopsies.
Two of the Bevers' children, 18-year-old Robert and 16-year-old Michael, are charged with first-degree murder in the deaths. They're also accused of trying to kill their 13-year-old sister who survived. They also have a 2-year-old sister who was not hurt.
The Medical Examiner released the autopsies on the same day a judge denied a defense motion to try Michael as a juvenile.
Police said the brothers planned the attack in advance, kept the details on a thumb drive and had cameras hooked up in the house. They also said they ordered body armor, holsters and ammunition, and planned to kill other people.
Police said the reason is because the boys wanted to be more famous than the Columbine shooters.
But, Michael Bever's attorney, Rob Nigh, said the reason might be something else.
"We will present evidence concerning his upbringing, and his childhood and things he experienced," Nigh said.
He argued the law that says 15, 16 and 17 year olds charged with first-degree murder should be treated as adults in the court system.
Nigh said teenagers don't have the same brain development as adults and shouldn't be held as responsible, but a judge disagreed and ordered the 16 year old to stand trial as an adult.
"The reality of the situation is we should not want children to go to the state penitentiary," said Nigh.
However, Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said the law is clear and correct, that if teenagers commit heinous, adult-like crimes, they can face the adult-like consequences.
"Anybody who's gonna commit first-degree murder is gonna be treated as an adult," he said.
Kunzweiler said it's critical to get justice for those killed, but also the 13-year-old sister who was stabbed but survived, and the 2-year-old sister now growing up without her family.
The preliminary hearing is set for January, but the defense attorney says he plans to appeal the ruling on Monday's motion all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, so that hearing could be delayed.