Judge rules Mitchell Young to stand trial in baseball bat attacks on Cipriano family

(WXYZ) - On Wednesday, a judge ruled that Mitchell Young will stand trial in the April baseball bat beatings of the Cipriano family in Farmington Hills. He's the co-defendant of Tucker Cipriano, who is charged in the same attack.

Bob Cipriano, his wife Rose and younger son Sal were all beaten with baseball bats during a break-in at their family home on April 16. Bob died in the kitchen.  Rose and Sal continue a long road of recovery. Another brother Tanner and a younger sister were also in the house but not injured.

During their confessions, Tucker Cipriano and Mitchell Young told police they had both been kicked out of their homes and were living on the fly. Both also said they had smoked K-2 before deciding to break into the Cipriano house in the middle of the night. They said their intent was to steal anything of value, but they attacked after Bob Cipriano woke up and confronted them.

Judge Shalina Kumar denied the motion to toss out the case for Young after several witnesses said he was of sound mind when the attack happened.

Young's defense attorney Michael McCarthy tried to show the judge that his client was incoherent when he waived his rights and agreed to talk with police and give his confession.

Numerous witnesses testified Wednesday, however, that Young seemed coherent immediately after the attack.

Lula Payne, an RN who works in the Botsford ER, was one of the first to testify. She was on duty on April 16 when Mitchell Young was brought in along with Rose and Sal Cipriano. Young was handcuffed and on a stretcher.

Payne testified Young was able to answer her medical questions, open and close his eyes and other responses, and said he was not in pain. She also said his vital signs were normal and stable and he was alert.  Payne said she did not get the impression he was under the influence of any drug and he told her he was not using any medication.

Her testimony was followed by Botsford Emergency Room Doctor Jillian Davis-Baumann who said Young tested negative to alcohol use, but positive to marijuana and did not appear to be under the influence of any other drugs. 

The doctor also told the court that his dislocated jaw did not require treatment and that it was not consistent with a strong hit from a baseball bat. Young originally told police he was hit by Tucker Cipriano with a baseball bat when they disagreed at the end of the incident.

A Farmington Hills police officer also testified he witnessed Young waive his rights, sign a form to waive his rights and agree to be questioned by a detective. Franklin Police Sergeant James Hirschfeld took the stand next, testifying he witnessed Young tell medical personnel about the attack and then asked if he was under arrest for murder. The sergeant says Young was speaking clearly.

Detective Richard Wehby is the Farmington Hills Police Officer in charge if the case.  He's testified that he read Young his rights, explained the waiver form Young signed and that Young understood he was waiving his rights. The detective testified Young changed his story during the interview and when confronted that police had witnesses and information different from what Young was saying, Young changed his story.

Young also gave police information about his Ford pick-up he and Tucker drove to the Cipriano house, that his cell phone was still inside the truck and that helped police find Tucker at a home in Keego Harbor later that morning.

 After several minutes of talking the detective testified Young said, "I guess I'm in a lot of trouble. Maybe I should get an attorney."  The detective said if you are asking for legal representation, I can't speak to you any more and the interview stopped.

But under cross examination, the detective testified he did not want to take the time to get a tape recorder for the interview because the case was still developing.

Young's attorney said Tucker had refused to testify in Wednesday's hearing.

On Tuesday, a judge ruled that Tucker Cipriano is competent to stand trial after reviewing partial results from his state psychological examination.

There is still question as to whether Cipriano can be held criminally responsible since there were initial reports that he may have been under the influence of drugs at the time of the attacks.

The rest of the state forensic exam will be administered to determine his competency at the time of the attacks. If the state determines he should not be held criminally responsible, the prosecution could order their own private doctor to evaluate Tucker.

Cipriano's attorney also plans to argue that the confession Cipriano gave to police should be thrown out.

Cipriano's next hearing will be held on October 31 at 1:30 p.m. The trial will likely be held sometime next year.

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