Jury recommends life in prison for Michael Bever on murder convictions

Michael Bever is escorted through the halls of the Tulsa County Courthouse with his defense attorney, Corbin Brewster, by his side. Bever is accused of killing his parents and three siblings alongside his older brother, Robert Bever, who pleaded guilty to the murders. (KTUL)

TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) -- The jury has recommended Michael Bever spend the rest of his life in prison with the possibility of parole for murdering five members of his family.

Bever, 18, was found guilty earlier this week for killing his parents and three siblings in 2015. He was also convicted of brutally assaulting his sister who survived and went on to testify against him.

Jurors have already recommended Bever be sentenced to 28 years in prison for the assault.

His older brother, Robert Bever, pleaded guilty to the same six charges and is serving life in prison.

Michael was shaking, smiling and crying as the judge read to the court that he could potentially get out of prison one day.

We've seen Michael cry many times over the last four weeks of trial, but today, those were happy tears.

"It was a recognition of Michael Bever's humanity," Michael's attorney Corbin Brewster said.

Brewster cried with Michael as the judge read the jury's recommendation.

"Sometimes people are responsible for doing bad things, but they are still human beings and still deserve a chance to make themselves better," Brewster said. "It meant everything to give him the possibility to make himself better and to work on putting his darkest hour behind him."

The defense maintained throughout the trial that Michael grew up in an isolated home, was lead by a mentally ill brother and was abused. All things, Brewster says, Michael didn't choose.

District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said Michael's parents and siblings didn't choose to die and his two surviving sisters didn't choose to grow up without a family.

"When do you want him as your neighbor?" Kunzweiler asked.

Michael will have to serve about 38 years of his life sentence before he is eligible for parole.

"His sister, the person he participated in stabbing in the neck, will be 52 and his younger baby sister will be in her early 40's," Kunzweiler said.

Kunzweiler hopes Michael never gets out of prison.

It has been a very emotional trial.

Grief counselor and director of Tristesse Grief Center Lauri Lenora was at the courthouse and available for the jurors after the verdict came down.

Lenora is working with the district attorney's office and the court to provide free sessions to jurors.

“They are doing their civic duty. They are being called upon to do this, and we want to support them, and we want to support our court system as well," Lenora said.

Formal sentencing is July 24.

The judge will decide whether Michael's sentences will run together or back to back.

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