PONTIAC (WWJ) – “He went there to kill.” Those were the words of Assistant Oakland County Prosecutor John Skrzynski during closing arguments Thursday in the first-degree murder trial of Mitchell Young.
After the prosecution rested and the defense did not call any witnesses, closing remarks and redirect lasted about three hours.
Young, 21, is accused of the baseball bat beating death of 53-year-old Robert Cipriano in an attack that also left his wife and son severely injured.
Defense attorney Michael McCarthy tried to shift the jury’s focus away from Young and toward co-defendant, 20-year-old Tucker Cirpiano.
McCarthy said Tucker Cirpiano was the one who was really motivated to kill that morning in April 2012 — not his client.
“Being a thief, going into a house so we can get some money, get some personal property, get some stuff we can carry is a far cry from committing one murder and assaulting two other people,” McCarthy said.
“He [Tucker Cirpiano] isn’t a part of that family anymore; he’s on the outside. He’s sore and he’s got rage,” McCarthy said. “Mitchell Young doesn’t know these people from Adam; he’s never been in that home; he’s got no axe to grind.”
In redirect, Skrzynski told the jury that Young was directly responsible for Robert Cipriano’s murder.
“He went there to kill. He took the knife with him, and when he started swinging — when he started beating Bob over and over and over and over, and beating Rose over, and over and over, and beating Sal … he intended to kill. That was the plan,” Skrzynski said.
Prosecutors say DNA evidence, including blood on Young’s clothing, supports a guilty verdict.
Last week, a friend 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. That friend declined to play a part in it.
The jury will receive final instructions before beginning deliberations on Friday.
Tucker Cirpiano pleaded no contest to first degree murder. He’s scheduled to be sentenced next month.