Based on a report submitted by a forensic psychologist, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Shalina Kumar today ruled that Tucker Cipriano, 19, is competent to stand trial on charges related to an April 16 attack on his family.
But a determination on whether Cipriano was sane at the time of the attack will take another month, according to defense attorney Mitchell Ribitwer.
The brutal assault in the Cipriano home resulted in the death of Robert Cipriano, Tucker's father, and severe injuries to , and brother, Salvatore. Mitchell Young, 21, a friend of Tucker Cipriano's, also faces felony charges in connection with the crimes and will be in court Wednesday, when Kumar will hear a motion to hold a separate trial for each defendant.
Ribitwer said Dr. Candyce Shields of the Center for Forensic Psychiatry felt Cipriano was "able to understand the nature of the charges and will be able to assist" in his defense. After the hearing, he explained the ruling allows him to go forward with motions and hearings in the case.
If the second forensic report indicates that Cipriano was insane on the night of the attacks, Ribitwer said he could "guarantee" Assistant Oakland County Prosecutor John Skrzynski will come back with a request to have an independent expert examine him.
Ribitwer said only an uncle has visited Cipriano in jail.
"He is very subdued," he added. "I think he's become more and more depressed, despondent and withdrawn."
Kumar set an Oct. 31 court date, when Ribitwer will argue to suppress statements Tucker Cipriano made to Farmington Hills police.
Correction: Dr. Candyce Shields is a forensic psychologist.