After today of Tucker Cipriano, 19, and Mitchell Young, 20, who are facing charges in the , a Farmington Hills woman is pointing to Tucker's adoption and alleged drug use as possible triggers for his troubles.
Outside the courtroom, Christine Frederick said Tucker spent several months with her last fall, while she recovered from brain surgery. She said she often takes in young people who have nowhere else to go, and he heard about her through friends.
Tucker was on the right path, Frederick said, and didn't leave her house "because he didn't want to be around any bad influences."
"Tucker's real mom just died and that's when he went off the deep end," Frederick said.
Frederick and Alex Stone, a friend who was among about a dozen young people in the courtroom, said Tucker might have been high on the synthetic drug "Spice" the night of the attacks.
Rather than a cell, Frederick said, the teen needs help. "Until the courts can start seeing that these kids need help instead of sending them to jail where they don't get it, there's going to be a lot more of this."
Frederick said Tucker loved his father "with all his heart", and she doesn't believe he killed Bob Cipriano.
Assistant Oakland County Prosecutor John Skrzynski, however, has no doubt that Tucker Cipriano and Mitchell Young committed the crimes of which they are accused. In asking that Judge Marla Parker deny bail, Skrzynski called the facts in the case "just horrific".
"It is an inhuman crime," he said, asking for denial of bond based on public safety and "the quality of the proof that the Farmington Hills Police have assembled."
Speaking after Young broke down in tears as Parker read the charges against him, Skrzynski said, "It's just a shame that this young man could not have displayed this type of humanity when cracking heads inside that house."
The two men face charges of first degree homicide and felony murder, both punishable by life in prison, two counts of assault with intent to murder and one count of armed robbery, punishable by life or any number of years. Since an assault with serious injury occurred during the armed robbery, the minimum sentence is two years.
Pre-exam conferences for both men are April 20, with preliminary examinations set for April 25.