The judge in Michael Bever's murder trial ruled the jury will not be allowed to see autopsy photos of the five Bever family members murdered in 2015. The judge said the fact victims were stabbed to death is not in question.
Jurors will not see each individual stab wound - 48 wounds for the mother, April; 28 wounds for father, David; 11 for 12-year-old Daniel; 6 wounds for 7-year-old Christopher, and 18 for 5-year-old Victoria.
The judge said the autopsy photos would only inflame the jury. The District Attorney's Office had 100 photos ready to present. The jury will still see more than 200 crime scene photos showing the victims covered in blood and showing where they were killed in the home.
However, the judge also refused to let jurors see photos of the upstairs portion of the Bever home since no murders happened there. Prosecutors wanted the jury to see where the baby was found unharmed in a crib upstairs. Prosecutors also wanted to show how David Bever, Michael's father, could be upstairs asleep through the beginning of the stabbings before waking up, coming downstairs and being killed in a lower floor bedroom.
The jury did see photos of the surviving sister’s numerous injuries from photos taken while that girl was in the hospital.
A crime scene investigator walked the jury through photos of each room in the Bever home, showing blood on the floors, walls, and furniture, blood in a pair of glasses, alarm box and a picture of a broken cell phone.
He also reviewed some of the evidence collected like knives, a hatchet and the helmets and body armor Robert and Michael Bever were wearing when taken into custody.
The investigator testified he was inside the crime scene for 17 hours and took around 600 photos. He said he has processed an estimated 1,500 crime scenes.
When a photo of 7-year-old Christopher and 5-year-old Victoria came on the screen, he couldn't go on. The photo showed the siblings huddled on the floor of the bathroom in what appeared to be their pajamas, covered in blood.
He had to step out of the courtroom to collect himself before he could resume testifying.
It appears the murder trial of Michael Bever may go into next week as prosecutors call their 13th witness Thursday, April 26. They still have more to go, possibly including the medical examiner, the detective who took Michael Bever's videotaped statement and evidence of the accused's jail journal.
Then, the defense can call witnesses.
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