Attorneys for Tucker Cipriano, 19, and Mitchell Young, 20, today hammered at the testimony of a man who said he was with the two as they plotted to murder Cipriano's family
The preliminary examination for the two men charged with in the April 16 death of Tucker's father and assaults on his mother, , went on for more than two hours Wednesday, before being adjourned to 9:30 a.m. on June 8.
Ian Thomas Zinderman, 20, appearing in a packed 47th District courtroom under an immunity agreement with the Oakland County prosecutor's office, testified that Young and Tucker Cipriano were planning two weeks earlier to kill "a family" in order to get what Tucker told him would be about $3,000.
Zinderman, who said he has known Tucker since 5th or 6th grade and Young for two or three weeks, testified that both smoked K-2 or "Spice", but that he didn't like the drug. He said he helped Tucker break into the Cipriano home twice on the night of April 15, to get money to buy Spice, which is a form of synthetic marijuana.
Young drove them around in a blue pick-up truck, Zinderman said. After the first break-in, Tucker came out with a bank card that he and Young used to purchase Spice at a gas station in Farmington Hills, Zinderman said. After the second break-in, Tucker came out of the house with a Visa gift card.
The youths then traveled to Keego Harbor, where they met with friends, and that's when Cipriano and Young decided to kill Cipriano's family, Zinderman said. He testified that he spent the night at a home in Keego Harbor, and that Tucker was at the home the next morning, wearing a blood-stained shirt.
Young's attorney Michael McCarthy pointed at the immunity agreement, which prevents anything Zinderman says from being used against him in court, as the reason for his testimony. But Zinderman said he was testifying "because it's the right thing to do."
Tucker Cipriano's attorney Mitchell Ribitwer identified inconsistencies in Zinderman's testimony, which Zinderman said were the result of feeling intimidated by one of the detectives who interviewed him.
Ribitwer pointed out that Zinderman initially told police he had agreed to be the "getaway driver" when Cipriano and Young killed the Cipriano family, in return for a share of what they hoped to take from the home. Zinderman said under oath that he backed away from the plot when it became clear the two were going through with it.
"I said if they want to f--- up their life, they could do it on their own," he said.
Next: Farmington Hills Police Officer Michael Meister testifies about what he found when he entered the Cipriano home.