PONTIAC (WWJ) – Mitchell Young faces life in prison without parole, found guilty of first degree murder and other charges in the death of Robert Cipriano and baseball bat beating of Rose and Salvatore Cipriano during a break-in last spring.
Young, 21, was led away in shackles after remaining motionless for most of the 45 minutes while Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Shalina Kumar gave the jury its final instructions. Jurors deliberated for only 90 minutes before coming back with a verdict.
During the trial, jurors were shown graphic photos of the bloody crime scene, taken by investigators on the night of the killing last spring at the Cipriano family’s Farmington Hills home.
A police supervisor last week testified she was shocked to find a blood-speckled, but uninjured, little girl — 8-year-old Isabella Cipriano —standing in the street when she arrived. Isabella told police she tried to save her family, wielding her own child-size bat.
A friend told the court that Young and co-defendant, Tucker Cirpiano drank, did drugs, and talked about breaking into the Cipriano home, killing everyone, and stealing cars and money to buy drugs. Prosecutors pointed to DNA evidence, including blood on Young’s clothing, in support of a guilty verdict.
The defense called no witnesses, but, in closing arguments, Young’s attorney Michael McCarty argued that his client was under duress during the incident and is not guilty because he felt threatened.
Young was found guilty of first degree premeditated murder, assault with intent to murder and armed robbery.
Reporting from the courtroom, WWJ Newsradio 950’s Kathryn Larson said Young mouthed, “I love you and I’ll call you grandma,” after the verdict was read.
Sentencing was set for July 16.
Tucker Cipriano, the victim’s adopted son, pleaded no contest to first degree murder. He’s set to be sentenced July 9.
Meantime, family members say Robert Cipriano’s wife, Rose Cipriano, is for the most part recovered, continuing outpatient therapy. Salavatore, 17, remains hospitalized.
In a family statement issued Friday, Robert Cipriano’s brother, Ron Cipriano, said: “No verdict could bring closure to this for our family; it is a part of our everyday reality. There is never closure in a situation like this. It merely closes this chapter and lets us focus everything we have on the continued healing of our family physically, mentally and emotionally …
“Our family has been through a horrible tragedy that we will live with for the rest of our lives. At the end of the day, Bob – our brother, father, neighbor, colleague, coach and friend – is still gone from our lives forever.” (Read the complete statement HERE).