Jury recommends life in prison with possibility of parole for Michael Bever

TULSA -- A jury has recommended life in prison with the possibility of parole for Michael Bever. 

On Wednesday night, the jury found Bever guilty of murdering five members of his family.

The jury, who was made up of 11 women and three men, came back with the verdict in about five hours.

After 14 days of testimony, attorneys on both sides were on the verge of tears going over the gruesome crime.

Bever is accused of stabbing six family members, killing five. He faced five charges of murder in the first degree and one count of assault and battery with intent to kill.

Giving Bever the potential of parole on all counts means if the sentences are served concurrently he'll have his first parole hearing in about 38 years. However, the judge could determine in July they be served consecutively.

As the chief public defender gave a final, tearful plea on Friday. He asked jurors to consider Michael's capacity for humanity.

"It meant everything to give him the possibility to make himself better and to work on putting his darkest hour behind him and trying to be a better human being," Corbin Brewster said.

In final words from the prosecution they asked the jury to consider Michael's three young siblings, who were not given a second chance. Now they're preparing to work with the judge before Bever learns his ultimate fate. The Tulsa County District attorney posed the question, "Do you want him to be your next door neighbor?"

"He's been in jail for about three years. If he gets credit for that he'll be out at the age of 54 and his sister, who he participated in stabbing in the neck, is going to be 52. His younger baby sister is going to be in her early 40s," Steve Kunzweiler said.

The jury reached their verdict in under two hours, much shorter than the five hours it took to find him guilty on the murder charges Wednesday. On Thursday they determined he'll serve 28 years for the assault charge against his 13-year-old sister.

When Michael learned his verdict Friday afternoon he was shaking and weeping, right along with his attorneys, who held him up as the judge read out the sentence. The public defender said the Broken Arrow teen was quick to say "thank you."

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