PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) - A family torn apart in a brutal attack last year by one of their own is asking the Oakland County Prosecutor to cut a plea deal so that the family could avoid the pain of a trial.
Twenty-year-old Tucker Cipriano and twenty-one-year-old Mitchell Young are set to go on trial on Monday. Both are facing First Degree Murder charges and life in prison if convicted.
Both have confessed.
Tucker's father, Bob Cipriano, was beaten to death. His mother Rose and younger brother Salvatore were critically beaten - all with baseball bats - in April of last year.
The two young men were living on the fly and had been drug users. They say they broke in to steal anything of value and were confronted by Bob Cipriano.
Now a year later, Rose writes to the prosecutor requesting a plea deal to avoid the pain of going through a trial. Her letter is included below this story. She also requests, if there is a trial, that her son Tanner and daughter Isabella - who were also in the house - and Rose, herself, not have to testify.
But a family member tells 7 Action News that the family was set to meet with Prosecutor Cooper's office on Thursday - but then learned from news reports that Prosecutor Cooper said 'no' to any plea deal.
That family member says the family was taking former Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox with them into the meeting, but now it is canceled. And the family members says they feel victimized twice because Cooper told Rose on the phone that she and her two kids would have to testify.
The family member also says they've talked with both defense attorneys and Tucker Cipriano in jail and they are all ready to cut a plea deal.
Tucker Cipriano's defense attorney Mitch Ribitwer confirms this to 7 Action News and says a plea deal is still close to the life sentence the Prosecutor wants.
Prosecutor Cooper says the trial will go on for public safety. Her statement to 7 Action News is also on this web page.
A hearing is set for Thursday over whether crime scene photos should be seen by a jury.
READ BOTH PROSECUTOR JESSICA COOPER'S STATEMENT TO 7 ACTION NEWS AND ROSE CIPRIANO'S LETTER TO COOPER BELOW
Statement by Prosecutor Jessica Cooper
We are on the eve of trial for two Defendants that we allege committed one of the most brutal and heinous attacks that I have seen in my lengthy career. This is a matter of the safety of the people of this community.
I think that it is beautiful that the family can forgive – it's good for the soul and psyche, but it is a separate issue from the duty that I have to protect the community.
No victim in any case wants to relive such a brutal and violent experience, but that is the nature of the criminal justice system. I spoke to Rose Cipriano at length yesterday, we have attempted at least two separate meetings, I've spoken at length with her sisters and our office has had communication with her brother. Her relatives are not seeking any plea bargain.
If Tucker Cipriano wants to relieve the family of the trauma of a trial, he and his Co-Defendant can plead guilty as charged to 1st Degree Murder.
This is not an appropriate case for a reduction of charges.
Letter from Rose Cipriano