By Jon Herskovitz
(Reuters) – An Oklahoma judge sentenced a 19-year-old on Thursday to five consecutive life terms after he was convicted of joining his older brother in bludgeoning and stabbing their parents and three siblings to death in 2015, court documents showed.
Michael Bever who was 16 at the time of the killings, was found guilty in May by a jury in a Tulsa County District Court of five counts of first-degree murder along with assault and battery with intent to kill in connection with his attack on a sibling who survived.
“This is the most brutal homicide case I have ever prosecuted,” Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said in an interview.
An attorney for Bever was not immediately for comment.
The sentences from Judge Sharon Holmes effectively mean Bever will serve life in prison without the possibility of parole.
If the sentences ran concurrently, Bever could have been released on parole from as early as the time he was 54 years old, Kunzweiler said.
The brothers used knives, a hatchet and other weapons to kill their parents, David and April Bever, two brothers and a sister in July 2015 in their home in Broken Arrow, a suburb of Tulsa.
Bever’s older brother, Robert, who was 18 at the time, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in September 2016 after pleading guilty to five counts of murder.
After a 911 call led officers to the home where they discovered the blood-splattered crime scene, Robert and Michael Bever were tracked down by dogs in woods near the house.
Robert outlined in a journal their intention to murder their relatives and then seek notoriety as serial killers roaming the United States, Kunzweiler said.
“Their plan was to go to restaurants and road-side stops and randomly shoot people,” he said. The pair had bought 2,500 rounds of ammunition, a shotgun and two handguns at the time of the killing, he added.
Michael Bever, who was charged as an adult along with his brother but was ineligible for the death penalty because of his age, opted to go to trial.
A sister who was 13 at the time survived the attack and a two-year-old child was found unharmed.
The two were later adopted by a family and are in “a very stable and loving home,” Kunzweiler said.
(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin Texas; Additional reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Susan Thomas and Alistair Bell)
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