Judge Rules Michael Bever Will Serve 5 Life Sentences Consecutively
TULSA, Oklahoma - A judge ruled one of the brothers convicted of murdering five members of his Broken Arrow family will serve his five life sentences consecutively.
Michael Bever was convicted of killing his parents and three siblings and trying to kill another sibling.
Even though a jury recommended five life sentences with the possibility of parole for the murders, and 28 years for trying to kill the surviving sibling, the judge ruled Thursday that he would serve the sentence consecutively, meaning he'll never be set free.
Bever's attorney Corbin Brewster said he was surprised by the ruling and that he disagrees with it, saying it goes against Supreme Court rulings and the wishes of six jurors that wrote a letter to the judge saying they believed Bever could be rehabilitated and urged for a concurrent sentence.
"This was a very strong verdict for life with parole. There are a group of jurors that submitted a letter to the judge saying this was our verdict, we want the sentences to run concurrent. They've come to both sentencing hearings in support of that ruling and that's not what we got today," Brewster said. "They're emotional. They feel like that wasn't their verdict, so it's difficult."
He said they plan to appeal the sentencing.
Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler, however, was pleased with the judge's decision, saying this was the ruling that was needed for public safety. He said mass murderers, even ones that were 16 when the crime was committed, should not be allowed out.
"All the Supreme Court cases that were being cited by the defense involved, as I said in court at our last argument, those all are cases involving individuals killing one person. Mass murderers need to be treated differently," Kunzweiler said.
The district attorney said the focus should be the two surviving sisters.
"Hopefully, this will provide the peace of mind those girls need," he said.
Bever, 19, was supposed to be sentenced in July, but, after he spoke in court, Judge Sharon Holmes said she needed more time to decide.
Back on July 24th, Bever told the judge he's spent the last three years thinking about what he could have done differently and the life he could've had with his family.
He also said he hates the thought that his surviving sister would ever be afraid of him.
The District Attorney later pointed out that Bever never once said he was sorry when he had the chance.
Statement from Judge Sharon Holmes:
Letter From Jurors:
Victim Impact Statement From Surviving Bever Siblings' Adoptive Mother: