Robert Bever, 18, and his 16-year-old brother will both be tried as adults for allegedly stabbing their parents and three of their siblings to death on July 22 in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
The brothers allegedly also stabbed their 13-year-old sister, who survived. Their 2-year-old sister was unharmed, Tulsa World reported. The slain children ranged in age from 5 years old to 12 years old.
"He's a child,” attorney Rob Nigh said of the 16-year-old defendant after Special Judge Martha Rupp Carter decided on Oct. 12 that the teen would be charged as an adult, the Associated Press reported. "The reality of the situation is we should not have children going to the state penitentiary.”
On Oct. 9, Nigh suggested at a hearing that his client was suffering from mental health issues, but the prosecution insisted he acted as an adult.
"Oklahoma law is very clear: if anybody's going to commit a crime of murder in the first degree, you're going to be tried as an adult,” Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said.
The 16-year-old faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted. A preliminary hearing for the brothers is set for Jan. 22.