Only Some Crime Scene, Autopsy Photos Allowed In Cipriano Trial
PONTIAC (WWJ) - At least some of the photos from the crime scene in last spring’s brutal baseball bat beating death of a Farmington Hills man will be allowed presented as evidence.
That’s the ruling by Oakland County Circuit Court in the case of 21-year-old Mitchell Young and 20-year-old Tucker Cipriano, both charged with murder.
Judge Selina Kumar said Thursday that select photos from both the crime scene and the autopsy could be viewed by the jury.
Speaking to WWJ Newsradio 950’s John Hewitt, Young’s defense attorney, Michael McCarthy, said the photos are some of the most gruesome he’s seen in his career.
“In many cases you move to exclude some things that would be unfairly prejudicial,” said McCarthy. “And, so, it’s nothing out of the ordinary in this case to bring such a motion — but I did think that I was on solid ground factually, looking at the photographs.”
Added McCarthy, “I understand the judge’s ruling. I’m happy that at least some of this evidence is not gonna be admitted, and we’ll live with the photographs that are admitted during the course of the trial.”
Cipriano and Young, his friend, are charged with first-degree murder the in April 16 attack during which a baseball bat was used to beat Cipriano’s 52-year-old father, Robert, to death. In addition, each has been charged with two counts of assault with intent to murder for the beatings of Cipriano’s mother, Rosemary, and his 17-year-old brother, Salvatore. They’ve also been charged with armed robbery.
There are reports the family had sought a plea deal that would spare everyone the pain of a trial and upcoming testimony. But, as of Thursday, it appeared proceedings would move ahead.
Said Prosecutor Jessica Cooper, in a statement to WXYZ-TV, “This is a matter of the safety of the people of this community. This is not an appropriate case for a reduction of charges.”
Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday. The two defendants will be tried jointly, which means there will be two seated juries in one courtroom.
Both Young and Tucker Cipriano face life in prison if convicted.