As friends and family members wept, veteran Farmington Hills Police Officer Michael Meister calmly spoke Wednesday about the bloody aftermath of a brutal attack April 16 that left Robert Cipriano dead and his wife Rose and son Salvatore fighting for their lives.
Meister testified in a 47th District Court preliminary examination for Tucker Cipriano, 19, and Mitchell Young, 20, who both face five felony counts in the attack. Tucker, who is Robert and Rose Cipriano's oldest son, was taken into custody in Keego Harbor around mid-morning on April 16.
Meister said he took Young into custody at the Cipriano home, after he and Officer Eric Buckberry responded to a call of "family trouble". Officers heard noises as they walked up to the home, Meister said, and he spotted a young girl, later identified as 8-year-old Isabella Cipriano, "standing inside the hallway."
Meister said someone inside ran past the door, knocking Isabella down, and headed upstairs. Meister said Isabella then let the officers into the home, where they found Rose Cipriano and Salvatore Cipriano, injured and bleeding from head wounds, on the stairway.
Meister said he did not learn that Robert Cipriano had been killed until after he and other officers had cleared the home. He said he handcuffed Young, while Buckberry handcuffed another young man found at the scene, later identified at Tanner Cipriano. (Tanner was released and does not face charges.)
Officers found two aluminum baseball bats underneath Salvatore's body, Meister said. They also found an empty shotgun case in Salvatore's room, which was concerning as officers searched the home for other suspects, he added.
Young's attorney, Michael McCarthy, questioned Meister about an injury the officer saw on the right side of Young's face, as well as where Young was taken down when he was handcuffed. Meister said Young was on an area rug in the hallway, but could not say how close Young was to a puddle of blood on the floor near the assault victims.
After Meister's testimony, which ended after 4:30 p.m., Judge Marla Parker adjourned the hearing to June 8, 9:30 a.m.