Judge: 16-year-old to be tried as adult in family stabbing

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16-Year-Old Oklahoma Boy to Be Tried as Adult for Murder


TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A 16-year-old Oklahoma boy will stand trial as an adult in the stabbing deaths of his parents and three siblings, a judge ruled Monday, rejecting a request by defense attorneys to certify him as a juvenile delinquent or youthful offender.

Michael Bever and his 18-year-old brother Robert Bever are charged with first-degree murder in the July 22 deaths and have pleaded not guilty.

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Attorney Rob Nigh said he would appeal Special Judge Martha Rupp Carter's decision to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals and, if necessary, the U.S. Supreme Court.

"He's a child," Nigh said after Monday's hearing. "The reality of the situation is we should not have children going to the state penitentiary." Nigh said even though Bever is charged with first-degree murder, "that doesn't change his biology."

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Judge: 16-year-old to be tried as adult in family stabbing
FILE - This combination of July 2015 file photos provided by the Tulsa County, Oklahoma, Jail shows Michael Bever, left, and his brother Robert Beaver. The Bevers are charged with first-degree murder in the July deaths of their family at their Broken Arrow home. They've pleaded not guilty. (Tulsa County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)
Robert Bever, second from left, and Michael Bever, third from left, are escorted into a courtroom for a hearing in Tulsa, Okla., Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. The two Oklahoma teenage brothers are charged with fatally stabbing their parents and three of their younger siblings. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Michael Bever, right, is led from a courtroom following a hearing in Tulsa, Okla., Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. Michael Bever and his brother, Robert Bever are accused in the July 23, 2015 stabbing deaths of their parents and three siblings. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
In this photo taken through a courtroom door, Robert Bever, left, talks with his brother Michael Bever, right, during a recess in a hearing in Tulsa, Okla., Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. Both are accused in the July 23, 2015 stabbing deaths of their parents and three siblings. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Rhianna Russell, a Broken Arrow, Okla. police detective, leaves a hearing for Robert and Michael Bever in Tulsa, Okla., Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. The Bever brothers are accused in the July 23, 2015 stabbing deaths of their parents and three siblings. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
In this photo provided by the Broken Arrow Police Department, 16-year-old Michael Bever, a suspect in the stabbing deaths of an Oklahoma family in Broken Arrow, Okla., is pictured Thursday, July 23, 2015, in Broken Arrow, Okla. Broken Arrow Police Cpl. Leon Calhoun said the dead include Bever's parents, David and April Bever. Calhoun said Michael Bever is one of two teenagers being held pending charges being filed in their deaths. (Broken Arrow Police Department via AP)
In this photo provided by the Tulsa County Jail, Michael Bever is pictured in a booking photo. First-degree murder charges were formally filed Friday, July 31, 2015 against Robert Davis Bever, 18, and Michael John Bever, 16, both accused in the July 23, 2015 stabbing deaths of their parents and three siblings. Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler, whose office filed the charges, has said Michael Bever will be tried as an adult. (Tulsa County Jail via AP)
FILE - In this July 23, 2015, file photo provided by the Broken Arrow Police Department, 18-year-old Robert Bever, a suspect in the stabbing deaths of an Oklahoma family in Broken Arrow, Okla., is pictured in Broken Arrow, Okla. First-degree murder charges were formally filed Friday, July 31, 2015 against Robert Davis Bever, 18, and Michael John Bever, 16, both accused in the July 23, 2015 stabbing deaths of their parents and three siblings. (Broken Arrow Police Department via AP, File)
FILE - In this Friday, July 24, 2015 file booking photo provided by the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office, Robert Bever is pictured. First-degree murder charges were formally filed Friday, July 31, 2015 against Robert Davis Bever, 18, and Michael John Bever, 16, both accused in the July 23, 2015 stabbing deaths of their parents and three siblings. (Tulsa County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)
Cheryl Ramsey, left, and Rob Nigh, right, defense attorneys for Robert and Michael Bever, respectively, walk away from reporters, Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, in Tulsa, Okla., following a video arraignment for the two brothers charged with stabbing their parents and three siblings to death at their suburban Tulsa home last month. A judge entered not guilty pleas for each. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
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At a hearing Friday, Nigh suggested Michael Bever was struggling with mental health issues.

Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said Bever acted as an adult by conspiring with his brother to kill their father, David Bever, and mother, April, along with siblings Daniel, Christopher and Victoria.

"Oklahoma law is very clear: if anybody's going to commit a crime of murder in the first degree, you're going to be tried as an adult," Kunzweiler said after the hearing.

If convicted, Michael Bever faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Authorities haven't spoken about a motive in the case. According to a search warrants affidavit, one of the brothers told police that plans for the killing were on a thumb drive inside the family's Broken Arrow home.

Two family members survived the attack and one of them, a teenage girl, plans to testify for the prosecution at the brothers' Jan. 22 preliminary hearing. Neither brother was present in court Monday.

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