Day 3 of testimony in Michael Bever case complete; defense, prosecutors argue evidence
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) -- Day three of testimony wrapped up in the Michael Bever murder trial.
It was an interesting and different day.
Jurors heard from two witnesses this morning and then were dismissed directly after lunch.
The state presented about 350 photos into evidence. The judge sent jurors home so attorneys on both sides could argue potential evidence.
One by one, the state, defense and the judge decided what pictures could potentially be used in court.
The 350 photos were mainly crime scene photos and autopsy photos.
All of which are extremely gruesome.
The defense filed a motion Tuesday morning regarding the number of pictures.
The defense says it is an overwhelming amount of horrific pictures for jury to have to see.
The defense says this was a tactic by the state to "break down the jury."
But the state says it isn't their fault the crime scene was so brutal and widespread. The state says it must prove guilt 'in the death of five people and severe injury of another. They say this is one of many ways to show that.
"It is not anything easy for them to look at but I am not going to soft pedal this case," District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said. "It is a type of case that the jury needs to know everything that happened in that house. We are going to fight hard so they have a complete and full understanding of what this is about and if that means I put in a lot of photographs, I put in a lot of photographs."
The defense says too much of a gruesome thing is not a good thing.
Defense Attorney, Corbin Brewster says he wants to ensure the jury is able to make a rational decision while looking at the photos.
"What did Michael Bever do, what did Michael Bever not do, it is easy to get overwhelmed with the crime scene," Brewster said. "We are just doing our best to make sure the court gets that right and that we don't overwhelm the jury so they can make a critical decision at the end of the trial."
Jurors also heard testimony from the K-9 officer who found Robert and Michael Bever the night of the murders.
Officer Marque Baldwin and his K-9 were the first to see the brothers.
The K-9 officer tracked the brothers to a dried river bottom a few hundred yards from the house.
Baldwin testified he told the brothers to stay still, but says Michael Bever started moving his lower body.
That's when Baldwin saw a knife on Michael Bever and released the K-9 on him.
The defense mentioned that other officers testified that Michael Bever was compliant when they saw him, but Baldwin says he was the very first officer on scene and other officers didn't get to that scene until after Michael Bever was bit by the dog.
Jurors are expected to hear from medical examiners in the coming day, and potentially Robert Bever.