Jury selection begins Monday morning in the murder trial for 19-year-old Michael Bever.
Michael Bever is accused of working with his older brother Robert Bever to stab their parents and three siblings to death in 2015. The younger Bever faces five first-degree murder charges and one count of assault and battery with intent to kill.
Older brother Robert Bever pleaded guilty in September of 2016 and a judge sentenced him to five life terms. Michael Bever pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, and evaluations have prolonged his trial.
Just this last week a judge ruled there is no proof prosecutor Sarah McAmis mishandled evidence, so she will continue with the case. If Michael Bever is found guilty, the sentencing option of life without parole is still on the table.
McAmis will miss the first day of jury selection because she had an emergency appendectomy on Friday, news we're reporting with her permission. She told News On 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright that the medical emergency will not affect the trial and she'll be back in court on Tuesday, April 17, 2018.
The judge will first rule out prospective jurors who are not eligible to serve, like those with felony convictions, those who struggle with the English language or those who no longer live in Tulsa County. The rest will then be asked to fill out questionnaire. Court will recess so attorneys from both sides can look over the answers.
Questioning of the jurors should begin tomorrow. Michael Bever will not be brought into the courtroom on on the 6th floor because his attorneys did not want him brought in front of the media cameras. The judge said there’s likely “no one in the universe who hasn’t heard of this case.” She asked the attorneys to focus more on which jurors can be fair, despite what they’ve heard.
The defense asked for Bever not to be shackled during court proceedings. His attorneys argue he is docile and has not caused any issues in the past two and a half years in jail. The DA argued Bever should be shackled in some way. The Judge will make a ruling on that some time today.
Bever is charged as an adult in the stabbing death of his parents, David and April, 12-year-old brother Daniel, 7-year-old brother Christopher and 5-year-old sister Victoria and stabbing a 13-year-old sister who survived.