BA Officer Says It Took 4 Minutes To Find Bever Brothers
TULSA COUNTY, Oklahoma - Jurors in Michael Bever's murder trial are hearing more testimony from two of the first emergency responders who worked the case.
Michael is accused of murdering his two parents and three siblings and seriously injuring another sibling.
Tuesday, jurors heard from the Broken Arrow K9 officer who found both Michael Bever and his brother, Robert. That officer said it took about four minutes to locate the brothers.
He said he noticed footprints in the dew going from the back door of the house. The officer and his dog followed them and eventually found the brothers.
Both Michael and Robert were in the dirt, wearing ballistic vests and helmets, according to the officer. He said he gave them commands and that Robert complied, but Michael didn’t. The officer said his dog bit Michael on the shoulder and then both brothers were taken into custody.
The jury also heard from a Broken Arrow firefighter/paramedic who, after pronouncing the mother and a 12-year-old boy dead at the scene, cared for the unharmed nearly 2-year-old girl found in the home.
He said he took the girl to an ambulance, cared for her and tried to keep her calm. He said he made a balloon animal out of a latex glove, gave her a stuffed animal and played YouTube videos of Sesame Street until she fell asleep.
He said he cared for the girl until a DHS worker got to the scene.
Also in court Tuesday, District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said he wanted to show 100 autopsy photos and 150 crime scene photos, but Bever’s attorney said the DA is trying to overwhelm the jury with blood and gore so they are filled with shock and sympathy.
The DA, however, said it's not their fault there's five dead victims, plus an injured one, and the scene is a big house with lots of rooms.
The DA said to the judge, gruesome scenes make for gruesome photos. Altogether, Kunzweiler has more than 350 pictures he wants to show the jury.
Bever's attorneys argued that all the witnesses testified there was blood everywhere, that it was the bloodiest scene they've ever been to, and none of the pictures prove Bever committed a crime.
The DA argued hearing about the scene and seeing it are two different things, and said the pictures prove there's no way one person did this, that it took both brothers – Robert and Michael - to kill five people and nearly a sixth.
"I'm going to fight hard to make sure they have a complete and full understanding of what this is about," said Kunzweiler. "If that means I'm putting in a lot of photographs, I'm putting in a lot of photographs."
The judge sent the jury home and then went photo by photo, deciding what would be shown to the jury.
Tuesday was day three of testimony in the murder trial. Monday, jurors heard from other first responders, including the first police officer on the scene, which he described as the bloodiest scene he’s ever been to.
The officer said when he got to the home he saw a pool of blood on the porch and drag marks. He said he could hear someone inside screaming for help and kicked in the door.
He said he saw the surviving sister and said she was covered in so much blood he wasn’t sure she had any left.
After the brothers were taken into custody, the officer described Michael Bever as stoic and emotionless.
Jurors have also heard from the surviving sister, who was 13 at the time of the attack.
She said she remembers walking in on her brothers, hearing one of them say, “Are we gonna do this now,” then remembers Robert Bever slitting her throat and stomach and stabbing her multiple times.
Said she tried to scream and run out of the house, but she collapsed and was brought back into the home.
The girl also recalled hearing screams coming from the home.
More first responders, as well as crime scene investigators, are expected to testify throughout the trial, but also on the witness list is Robert Bever, who has already pleaded guilty to five counts of first-degree murder.
BA firefighter/paramedic describes pronouncing April Bever, the mother, dead as well as 12 yr old Daniel, both covered in blood, w/multiple stab wounds, not breathing, no pulse, in front yard, after officers pulled them from the home.@newson6 pic.twitter.com/XAHzWj2L64— Lori Fullbright (@LoriFullbright) April 24, 2018
Paramedic described calming down Autumn Bever after she was found unharmed in her crib, making her a balloon animal from a latex glove, showing her Sesame Street videoes on his phone. Said he had a daughter about same age at time.— Lori Fullbright (@LoriFullbright) April 24, 2018
BAPD K-9 officer testified about helping clear Bever home with his K-9 partner to make sure no suspects still inside. Said his dog started a track out the back after he saw footprints in the dew behind the house.— Lori Fullbright (@LoriFullbright) April 24, 2018
K-9 officer said in a few hundred yards, within 4 minutes, he found Robert & Michael Bever lying, hiding in a dry creek bed, both wearing ballistic vests & helmets. Says When Michael made movements and officer saw knife sheath, released the dog, who bit Michael in shoulder.— Lori Fullbright (@LoriFullbright) April 24, 2018
Attorneys from both sides arguing over dozens, possibly hundreds of photos the DA wants to show jurors. Bever’s attorney argues the photos are gruesome & not used to prove crime, but to shock, overwhelm the jury.— Lori Fullbright (@LoriFullbright) April 24, 2018
DA argues gruesome scenes lead to gruesome photos and it is not their fault there are 5 dead in this case and the scene is so large and there is blood in so many rooms of the home.— Lori Fullbright (@LoriFullbright) April 24, 2018
DA says photos needed to show various angles, breadth & depth of scene. Said hearing about bloody scene not the same as seeing photos of it.— Lori Fullbright (@LoriFullbright) April 24, 2018
Judge going through photos the defense objected to and making ruling on them, one at a time. Jury told to be back in court at 1:15pm. Expect crime scene investigators to testify this afternoon.— Lori Fullbright (@LoriFullbright) April 24, 2018