Trial of young man accused of helping attack Cipriano family begins

PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) - The trial of the man prosecutors say helped Tucker Cipriano attack his father, mother and brother with a baseball bat is underway.

Opening statements have been given in the case against Mitchell Young in a Pontiac courtroom. 

McCarthy says that Young will be vindicated, once the jury weighs all the evidence in the case. However, he also says that the publicity and emotion surrounding the case will not make it an easy vindication for Young.

McCarthy told the jury that all five of the charges must be proven individually and beyond a reasonable doubt. McCarthy says what the jury determines will be the last word on the facts of the case. However, he says, in order to do so they will have to put their emotions aside.

McCarthy says that the reason "we have trials is that their are two sides to every story" and that in the end the jury decides what the truth is.

McCarthy says the jury cannot consider the case in a vacuum because the evidence shows that Tucker Cipriano was in the home at the time of the attacks. McCarthy says they will have to decided "who did what" and who is responsible for what. He says the jurors will have to decide if Young was an active participant in what happened.

Assistant Prosecutor John Skrzynski began the trial with his opening statement.

Skrzynski laid out a timeline of events for the jury, saying that Tucker Cipriano and Young planned what they were going to do over the night, including who each of them was going to kill once they break into the family home.

Skrzynski says that once Cipriano and Young broke into the home a light went on in the kitchen and they were confronted by Robert Cipriano. It was at this point that, Skrzynski says, Tucker Cipriano attacked his father with a baseball bat. He says that while Tucker attacked his father, the noise of the attack drew out Rose Cipriano.

Skrzynski says it was Young who confronted Rose, telling her to be quiet. However he hit her with his baseball  bat when she would not.

Skrzynski says Tucker then attacked his brother Sal.

Robert, Rose and Sal Cipriano were attacked inside the family's Farmington Hills home in April 2012. Robert Cipriano was killed, Rose and Sal Cipriano were critically injured. During his opening statement Skrzynski sais that Robert, Rose and Sal Cipriano all suffered skull fractures.

Rose Cipriano has since recovered from the attack. Sal Cipriano is still in the hospital.

The case led to a war of words between Rose Cipriano and Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper over whether or not a plea deal should be offered in the case.

Tucker Cipriano pleaded no contest to the charges he was facing on Monday and faces life in prison when he is sentenced next month.

Cipriano family members had waged a public campaign against Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper to make plea deals so that Rose Cipriano and two other kids would not have to testify. 

The original trials were set to go two weeks but now it could be much shorter.

Tucker Cipriano is set for sentencing on July 9 and will receive life without parole. He is expected to make a statement at that time.


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