New information surfaced on Tuesday during a preliminary hearing for the two Oklahoma brothers accused of killing their family. One of the teens apparently laughed and joked while describing his plans to slaughter his parents and siblings.
New York Daily News reports that for the first time since the shootings, Robert Bever and Michael Bever appeared in person before Tulsa County Special Judge Martha Rupp, to learn if they would stand trial for the murder of their parents.
Robert Bever, 19, and his brother Michael Bever, 17, both of Broken Arrow, allegedly planned out the murder of their family for at least a year in advance. According to testimony provided by Broken Arrow police detectives on Tuesday, the brothers also planned to take their parent’s vehicle after killing them, and go on a multi-state mass shooting spree.
They face charges that include five counts of first-degree murder, stemming from the July 22, 2015 murder of their parents David Bever, 52, and April Bever, 44; as well as their younger siblings, Daniel, 12, Christopher, 7, and Victoria, 5. Two additional sisters, ages 13 and 2, survived the attack. The 13-year-old told authorities that her two oldest brothers knifed the family to death.
The brothers also planned to chop off the head of their 2-year-old sister with an axe, but before they could get to her, their plans were interrupted. The toddler was found at the home unharmed.
Detective Eric Bentz of the Broken Arrow Police Department also testified and stated that the brothers planned to make two videos. One of the videos, with the bloodied bodies of their family, was to be sent to the police, while another video, without the bodies, was to be posted online. However, a 911 call from 7-year-old Christopher, who cried “please help” while barely breathing, disrupted the brothers’ plans.
Bentz also testified that Robert Bever was “laughing or chuckling on several occasions” as he described his plans to chop up his parents and put them into storage bins. In fact, the teen seemed almost excited while telling his story, said Bentz. Robert Bever sought the notoriety of being a serial killer, Bentz stated.
“Robert expressed wanting to have some sort of fame or notoriety for being a serial killer. He said that if he killed more than one person, it made him like a god.”
Although the 13-year-old didn’t testify during the hearing, she told Detective Chane Cothran that her brother Robert Bever said that “there were too many people in the world.” In turn, both brothers allegedly started stockpiling weapons. Police found an assortment of weapons in the homes, many of which were used to kill the family. Last year, Cpl. Leon Calhoun of the Broken Arrow Police Department stated that,
“I was told knives, there was a hatchet, there was several different types of weapons that were actually used in the homicides.”
A witness who testified on Tuesday said that Robert Bever ordered ammunition and weapons online, figuring he could buy them on the Internet without being an adult. Once ammunition started arriving to the family home, Robert Bevers reportedly moved forward with the plan.
Autopsy reports revealed that April Bever was stabbed over 48 times and David Bever was stabbed at least 28 times. The other slain victims were each stabbed at least a dozen times each.
Detective Rhianna Russell, who also testified on Tuesday, said that the brothers were so intent on becoming famous that they were already talking about having their own Wikipedia page.
“They intended to go on a mass-killing spree. They wanted a Wikipedia page. They wanted media coverage.”
Both Robert Bever and Michael Bever pleaded not guilty to the crimes, but both will stand trial as adults. They are both due back in court Monday for their trial court arraignment.
[Photo by Broken Arrow Police Department]