Testimony: Bever Told BA Investigator He Didn’t Kill Anyone, Tried To Stop Brother
TULSA COUNTY, Oklahoma - More crime scene evidence was being presented in Michael Bever's murder trial. Prosecutors have now introduced more than 400 pieces of evidence to the jury.
Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said he's trying to keep the jury focused on what he calls relevant evidence, but after more than three full days of crime scene investigators, jurors have seen a lot of evidence.
Monday, a crime scene investigator with the Broken Arrow Police Department said she collected Michael Bever's clothing and swabs from his hands. Karen Weikel said when she was doing that, Michael told her he didn't kill anyone and he tried to stop his brother, Robert.
Weikel said Michael made the statements on his own. She said Robert spoke to her too, but she wasn't allowed to tell the jury what he said.
Michael's attorney is questioning Weikel about mishandled evidence in the case.
Weikel testified she is aware of a missing hard drive and showed the jury a piece of evidence that was opened and then re-packaged improperly.
Inside that package was one of four surveillance cameras collected from inside the home.
Weikel pointed out she did not mishandle any evidence in the case.
A detention officer also testified Monday about a journal he confiscated from Michael Bever in 2016 while he was in jail.
The detention officer said the contents were disturbing, saying he took it because it had morbid and violent pictures inside it and that he was worried for Michael's safety, and the safety of others.
"Around the time that journal was taken, he was on and off suicide watch in the medical unit at the jail and was in a dark place, and was getting treated by mental health providers at the jail. So that journal needs to be understood in that context," said Michael Bever's attorney, Corbin Brewster.
Kunzweiler said, "It was certainly a journal that we think is fairly significant mindset. You've heard, or it's been suggested, that somehow Michael Bever is not involved in this, I think the journal runs counter to that."
An investigator with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation talked about a chapter book Robert Bever had written that was found at the scene. Right now, we don't know the contents of either of the journals, but the judge decided earlier in the trial we would learn about what is inside Michael's.
The OSBI investigator also talked about the amount of body armor and weapons found in Michael and Robert's bedroom - everything from arm and neck protectors to a crossbow.
He also said the scene inside the house was "by far the most blood" he'd ever seen.
Jurors also saw one of the four surveillance cameras set up inside the Bever home. The surviving sister testified the cameras were to help her parents keep an eye on them when they were out of the house or working.
They also saw the clothes Michael and Robert Bever wore the night of the murders. Michael Bever's t-shirt had large holes in it where a K9 officer bit him during his arrest.
Both brothers' clothing was covered in dirt and what appeared to be blood marked by police.
Michael Bevers' attorney argued Robert played the most significant role in the stabbing deaths of their parents and three siblings, but Kunzweiler said it's up to the jury to determine just how big of a role Michael Bever played.
"The presumption of innocence still lies with Michael Bever and it's until or unless a jury makes that ultimate determination otherwise," Kunzweiler said. "Only one person's going to pull the trigger to a gun, but if somebody else is facilitating the discharge of the gun so that victim can die, you don't get to walk away because you didn't pull the trigger."