TULSA, Okla. – A 19-year-old Oklahoma man condemned for the stabbing of his parents and three siblings to death was sentenced Thursday to five life terms in prison to run consecutively, which means that even with the possibility of parole, he likely will never be released.
Michael Beaver was 16 years old in 2015, when the prosecutors say he and his older brother, Robert Beaver killed, their mother, father, two younger brothers and a 5-year-old sister in their suburban Tulsa home. Two sisters survived the attack.
Robert Beaver, who was 18 at the time of the murders, pleaded guilty in 2016 and was sentenced to life without parole . Michael Beaver was convicted in May of five counts of first-degree murder.
The jury also convicted Michael Beaver of one count of assault and battery with intent to kill for wounding his then-13-year-old sister, who survived the attack. A 2-year-old sister was unharmed. On Thursday, Beaver was sentenced to 28 years in prison for the murder of his 13-year-old sister, in addition to the five life sentences.
The authorities have never revealed the teens’ motives in the massacre.
Neighbors said the children were all home-schooled and their parents them on a tight leash, to prohibit them from mingling with the neighbors or playing with kids outside the family.
After the attack, Robert Beaver told the police that his parents beat him. He said that his father once dragged him up the stairs, because he left a light on and his mother slapped him so hard it left a mark. He described to the police how he was planning the murder of his parents and brothers and sisters, and that he hoped that killing them would bring him fame.
Defense attorneys argued that Michael Beaver was misled by his older brother, and Robert Beaver testified that he wanted to take responsibility for all the murders.
The prosecutor, who urged the court for the grant of a non-parole sentence ahead of Thursday hearing, argued that Michael Beaver was a willing participant in the heinous murders, and that he should be imprisoned for the rest of his life. The ruling Thursday effectively achieved.
Life sentences are considered to be 45 years old parole purposes in Oklahoma, and the prisoners must serve 85 percent of any sentence for technically eligible for parole. Calculated in succession, Beaver phrases with a total of 253 years, and he must serve 85 percent, or 215 years, before he is parole eligible.
Beaver the defense lawyers said that they plan to appeal his sentences.