Reporting Sandra McNeill
PONTIAC (WWJ) – A young men accused in the baseball bat beating death of his father will undergo a mental competency exam.
Tucker Cipriano, 19, and his co-defendant Mitchell Young, 20, were formally arraigned Tuesday on premeditated murder charges.
The two are accused in the death of 52-year-old Robert Cipriano in his Farmington Hills home on April 16. They’ve also been charged in the critical wounding of Cirpriano’s brother and mother, who suffered brain injuries.
After not guilty pleas were entered for both defendants, Cipriano’s attorney Mitchell Ribitwer was granted a requests for both a mental competency and criminal responsibly exam for his client.
Ribitwer said Cipriano may be insane from long-term use of K-2 and other drugs.
“With a long history of substance abuse, if the mind has deteriorated or he’s become mentally ill as a result of the ingestion of those particular products or those particular narcotics, voluntary intoxication is not what happened on that day. It’s mentally ill on that day,” Ribitwer said.
“Involuntary intoxication is not a defense in Michigan, but we’re still in the process of researching what adverse effects Spice and K2 have on the mind,” he said. “And if those products could have made Tucker psychotic, then if he’s psychotic he’s mentally ill, and if he couldn’t conform his conduct to the law, then he might have been temporarily insane.”
Both defense attorneys said they will seek to have statements the pair made to police thrown out. They’re also asking for separate trials.
Tucker Cipriano and Young face life in prison if convicted on charges of first-degree premeditated murder, first-degree felony murder, assault with intent to murder and armed robbery.
According to pre-trial witness testimony, the pair had talked about murdering a family for about two weeks prior to the brutal attack.