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Farmington Hills

October 3, 2012

Murder suspect’s statement to police will stand

By Terry Oparka
C & G Staff Writer

A murder suspect’s statement to police will be admissible in court, a judge has ruled, saying there was no evidence that Mitchell Young, 20, was not in his right mind or compromised in any way when he spoke to Farmington Hills police after being read his rights at Botsford Hospital.

Young is charged with murder, assault and robbery, and appeared for an evidentiary hearing in Oakland County Circuit Court in front of Judge Shalina Kumar Sept. 26. He shook his head more than once as he listened to testimony on his medical condition.  He did not take the stand.

Kumar listened to testimony from police, a paramedic on the scene after the attack, and a physician and a nurse from Botsford Hospital, where Young was transported from the Cipriano home for treatment for a bloody nose and swollen, tender jaw, injuries medical witnesses described as minor.

Police and prosecutors say Young and co-defendant Tucker Cipriano killed Robert Cipriano, Tucker Cipriano’s father, and severely injured Tucker Cipriano’s mother, Rose, and brother Salvatore, 17, inside the Cipriano home April 16. A friend’s testimony during the preliminary exam indicated that Tucker Cipriano had broken into the family home, where he was no longer living, twice earlier that evening to get money.

Kumar denied a motion to quash the statements of the friend, saying the district court judge used proper discretion during the preliminary exam.

She also denied the motion for separate trials for each suspect, rejecting the argument of Young’s attorney, Michael J. McCarthy, that the case is known as the “Cipriano case,” and the pretrial publicity would have a negative effect on the trial.

Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor John Skrzynski noted the number of members of the media present in court for Young’s hearing and said there was no evidence that the media was focused on Cipriano.

“The name of Cipriano has been used throughout. Prejudice will be suffered either way,” Kumar said, rejecting McCarthy’s argument.

Further, Skrzynski said that making Tucker Cipriano’s younger sister, 8, and a brother who were in the home during the attack testify twice about a “gruesome, blood-covered scene” would be cruel.

“Their testimony would be applicable for both defendants,” Skrzynski said.

Kumar agreed, saying it would be harmful for minors to testify at two separate trials and stipulated that there would be one trial with two juries.

Young’s pretrial is set for Dec. 11.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Terry Oparka at toparka@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1054.