Jul 28, 2014

No Plea in Cipriano Case, Oakland County Prosecutor Says

Tucker Cipriano goes on trial Monday with his friend Mitchell Young, on charges related to a deadly 2012 attack on the Cipriano family in their Farmington Hills home.

No Plea in Cipriano Case, Oakland County Prosecutor Says
The Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday that Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper won't accept a plea from 21-year-old Tucker Cipriano, who is charged in the brutal April, 2012 attack on his family in their Farmington Hills home. 

With co-defendant Mitchell Young, 20, Tucker Cipriano will go on trial Monday on felony charges related to the beating death of his father, Robert, 52, and assaults on his mother, Rose, and brother, Salvatore, who was 17 at the time. Two other Cipriano children, Tanner, a recent Detroit Catholic Central graduate, and Isabella, then 8 years old, escaped injury. 

The Free Press report indicated that "at least one family member" had approached the prosecutor's office about a plea.

“There have been no discussions, nor will there be any,” Cooper told the newspaper. “Not a chance. Zip. Zero. I am responsible for the safety of this community.”

Family members had hoped to avoid a trial that will likely last several weeks and include graphic testimony about a crime scene that Farmington Hills Police Detective Richard Wehby described as "complicated". During a preliminary exam in June of 2012, he said there was blood spatter and pools of blood all over the Cipriano home, according to a Farmington-Farmington Hills Patch report

Tucker Cipriano testified under oath that he had ingested synthetic marijuana known as "K-2" or "Spice" before the attacks. Defense attorney Mitchell Ribitwer told the Free Press that his client has been "despondent and distraught" over the crimes, especially now that he is off drugs.

The two defendants will be tried at the same time by separate juries. Each faces a first degree murder charge that could result in a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. The Cipriano family has not publicly commented on the trial; a Facebook group set up last year to provide support for friends and family has, as of Wednesday, 5,585 members.

On Friday, more than 1,000 people are expected to participate in the Cipriano Classic 5k Fun Run/Walk at the Farmington Family YMCA. The event benefits the Cipriano Children's Trust, a fund that supports the continuing medical recovery and daily needs of the Cipriano children.

There's still time to sign up for the 7 p.m. run/walk. Registration is available on-line at  active.com or in-person at the YMCA, 28100 Farmington Road, Farmington Hills. 

Those cannot attend and wish to make a donation can do so  through the event webpage. Donations are also being accepted for the Farmington Family YMCA Strong Kids Campaign, which teaches children and teens positive behaviors, allows them to explore their talents and realize their potential. Rose Cipriano is a former YMCA staff member. 

Read the full story, including information about a Thursday hearing, at freep.com.

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