In 2015, a then 16-year-old Michael Bever, and his then 18-year-old brother Robert, stabbed and killed their parents, 52-year-old David Bever and 44-year-old April Bever, in their Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, home. However, they didn’t stop there. They also killed their siblings, Daniel, 12, Christopher, 7, and Victoria, 5. Surviving the attack was 13-year-old Crystal, who had been stabbed, and 2-year-old Autumn who was unharmed. The motive the brothers allegedly gave for the killing spree was they wanted to be ‘more famous than Columbine.’
In 2016, Robert Bever pleaded guilty to murder in order to avoid the death penalty and was sentenced to five life sentences without parole. Michael Bever was charged as an adult and was convicted of murder in 2018. He was sentenced to five consecutive sentences as well.
Recently, an appellate court upheld Michael Bever’s sentences in a close 3-2 decision. At the time of Michael Bever’s sentencing, six of the 12 jurors recommended that Michael Bever be eligible for parole after 38 years. The presiding judge at the time overruled the jury’s wishes and handed down the five consecutive life sentences.
The US Supreme Court has ruled that automatic life without parole sentences for juveniles are unconstitutional, however, Bever’s sentence was not an automatic sentence as it was at the judge’s discretion.
While the appellate court and the jury might have been split on sentencing recommendations, I believe that the presiding judge in the trial made the correct decision. The number of victims and the age of some of the victims alone are enough to hand down five life sentences in my opinion. Let’s also not forget that not only were the murders said to be planned at least a year in advance but Michael Bever also acted like he was in danger so he could get his siblings to unlock the door where they were hiding so they could be killed. That exhibits such a level of depravity that no mercy should have been considered in his sentencing.