PONTIAC (WWJ) - A friend of Tucker Cipriano and Mitchell Young took the witness stand Thursday in Oakland County Circuit Court, talking about how the pair had plotted for weeks to kill the Cipriano family.
Young is on trial for murdering Tucker Cipriano’s father, Robert Cipriano, and beating his mother Rose and brother Salvator last April.
Appearing in court in a violet button-down shirt with a brush cut and neatly trimmed beard, 20-year-old Ian Zinderman testified that the group drank, did drugs, and talked about breaking into the Cipriano home, killing everyone, and stealing cars and money to buy drugs.
Zinderman said Tucker Cipriano had violated his probation and wanted to leave the state. “He didn’t want to go back to jail,” Zinderman said.
He said the pair had debated between the Ciprianos and another local family before deciding the Ciprianos had more wealth.
“Both of them picked assignments, discussed about picking assignments, on which family member to kill,” Zinderman said. “… Young was supposed to take the parents, and Cipriano was supposed to take his brothers.”
Zinderman said it was decided the father was going to be killed first, because he was bigger and more of a threat.
He talked about Tucker Cipriano not wanting to kill his 8-year-old sister — and Young’s suggestion that he’d handle it.
“… I don’t recall whether he agreed with it or not or liked the fact that that was offered,” Zinderman said. “He loved his sister more than anything in the world.”
Zinderman was with Tucker Cipriano and Young a few hours before the murders, but said he told them he wanted no part in it. ”They wanted me to dispose of the bodies and drive the getaway car. They wanted to dump them into the Detroit River and weigh them down with barrels or some sort,” Zinderman said.
“I told them if you want to f*** up your life you can f*** it up on your own accord — don’t bring me into it,” he said.
Zinderman received immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony.
If convicted, Young, 21, faces life in prison without parole.
Tucker Ciprian, 20, pleaded no contest to a murder charge earlier this week. He’ll spend the rest of his life in prison.
[Catch up on this case HERE].