Brother's Testimony Continues In Michael Bever Murder Trial
TULSA, Oklahoma - Michael Bever is charged with murdering five members of his family and nearly killing another.
On Monday, Robert Bever, Michael’s brother, resumed his testimony. Robert wrapped up his testimony by saying he ultimately did not testify just to help his brother. He came to tell the truth, the truth no one had heard until now.
"Clearly, Robert's mentally ill," said defense attorney Corbin Brewster. "But what we heard was Robert's truth."
During Robert's time on the stand, he took full responsibility for stabbing all five members of his family to death, but he still talked about how his younger brother Michael was involved in concocting the plan.
"When he talked about what happened in the house, honestly, not all of it helped me, but it was the truth to Robert," said Brewster.
Brewster said hearing Robert's side is critical for this jury, including the isolation the children felt from the world and the abuse from their father.
"I think it's hard for a jury, or anyone, to understand the story without understanding what was happening inside that home leading up to what happened," stated Brewster.
District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler says Robert has nothing to lose -- he's already pleaded guilty and will spend his life in prison.
"It's very obvious that where he wants it to be for the benefit of making him look like he's solely responsible, then he'll play that role," said Kunzweiler. "He couldn't even keep track of his story."
Prosecutors tried to show that Robert lied to the jury last week when he told them he never saw Michael hold a knife or stab any member of the family.
Prosecutors pointed out that Robert told police the night of the murders that his brother Michael was very involved in the planning of the family murders, that Michael wore body armor and had a knife that night, and that Michael stabbed two of the younger siblings, Christopher and Victoria.
Prosecutors say Robert told police both brothers planned the murder, both brothers had body armor, both brothers had knives, and both brothers wanted to travel across America, with Michael and him each killing 5 people at every stop.
He admitted telling police he wanted to make sure Michael got credit for two of the family's murders, but he also said Monday that he didn't always tell the truth to police.
Prosecutors asked him about his journal that outlined his plan and in which Robert wrote that Michael gave him many good suggestions and gave him strength to go on, telling Robert this is what they were meant to do.
Robert told the jury that a lot of what he told police the night of his arrest were lies, and that the planning journal he kept before the murders was literature and confused police.
Prosecutors also asked Robert about an interview he did with a doctor in prison where he said it was Michael's idea to kill the children and Michael first said he wanted to strangle their 5-year-old sister.
Robert said he didn't remember saying those things and thought the doctor was shady.
Robert, however, did admit saying there was no one he'd rather rampage with, than Michael.
During his testimony, Robert showed no real emotion, just answered the questions. He did say some things were taken out of context or misinterpreted from both his journal and his statement to police.
As the trial proceeds, the jury is expected to hear details about mishandled evidence in the case, including a missing hard drive that's never been found.
Kunzweiler says jurors need to realize that this part of the defense is nothing but a distraction.
"What relevance does that have to anything that happened in this case?" he asked. "How in the world is that related to whether Michael and Robert Bever were responsible for the deaths of their family?"