April 20, 2012 at 1:00 am

Classmates support victims of baseball bat attack

Students wear grey sweat pants and white t-shirts at Catholic Central, Thursday April 19, 2012, in support of Sal Cipriano. (Steve Perez / The Detroit News)

The 19-year-old man accused of killing his father appeared in court Thursday for the second time this week, while classmates of his younger twin brothers — one of whom was injured in the baseball bat attack — joined in a show of support for the family.

Tucker Cipriano appeared before Oakland Circuit Judge Michael Warren on a bench warrant for seven alleged probation violations, a day after he and a second man were charged with first-degree murder and other crimes in the Monday attack that killed Robert Cipriano and injured Tucker's mother, Rose, and 17-year-old brother Sal in their Farmington Hills home.

Dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit, his arms and legs shackled by chains, Cipriano appeared red-eyed and weary. He said nothing but displayed little of the indifference he exhibited at his arraignment Wednesday in district court.

Cipriano is scheduled to return to court this morning with fellow defendant Mitchell Young, 20, for a pre-exam conference in the murder case. Police believe the pair broke into the home looking for money for drugs.

At the Novi school attended by Sal Cipriano and his twin brother, Tanner, students wore sweatpants and white shirts Thursday for "Sal Cip Sweats Day." The event at Detroit Catholic Central High School honored Sal, a junior who is in critical condition.

During the attack, Tanner hid with his 8-year-old sister and called 911, police said.

Classmates and teammates from Sal's varsity baseball team said they wanted to do something to help the Cipriano family. Students paid $2 to wear sweatpants, which laid-back Sal loves, and $1 to wear a white shirt — white is the symbol of hope — instead of their usual uniform of khaki pants and collared shirts.

The effort raised more than $11,000, and some classmates will sell rubber bracelets next week with Sal's name and team number, 14, on them to raise money for the Ciprianos.

"We felt we needed to do something, needed to give back," said Evan Hicks. He and classmate Thomas Hool approached the Rev. John Huber, the school's principal, about holding the special spirit day for Sal and the Cipriano family. "We're all brothers, and we needed to do something and it felt good to do something about it."

Former classmates and co-workers of Young said they can't believe he could commit such a crime. Young graduated from John Glenn High School in Westland in 2010.

Many friends posted messages on Facebook in response to media coverage and said Young's upbringing can't be blamed for his run-ins with the law.

"I've known him since high school," Cassie Sanders said in a Facebook post. "We used to be great friends, then drifted apart... I'm still in shock, I can't even fathom him being capable of this."

Young was arrested last year by Dearborn Police and charged in 19th District Court with operating while under influence of a controlled substance and possession of a knife. The weapon count was eventually dismissed, but he was ordered to serve a year of probation on the misdemeanor drug count on Nov. 10.

In a posting on Facebook, Maria Hall said Young promised "to never get high again."

"All the drugs, the jail time, promises to never go back, to never get high again ... now this," Hall wrote. "...I can't believe you could do this to your mother who tried to support you despite everything."

Sal and Tanner Cipriano's classmates say many are still in shock about what happened. Some say they've struggled with sleep and are praying constantly.

Huber, who visited the Cipriano family Thursday at Botsford Hospital, said Rose has improved but Sal remains in critical condition. He said optional rosaries at the end of the school day have been full since Monday.

In a situation like this, faith "is everything," said Hool, who helped organize Thursday's tribute. "In this, we have no control over what happens. It's all about a higher authority and God. We don't understand why things happen, but they do and we have to put our trust in God."


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Students at Catholic Central in Novi decided to hold a fundraiser to help ... (Detroit Catholic Central)
Catholic Central placed a sign on the baseball diamond in support of the ... (Steve Perez / The Detroit News)
Tucker Cipriano said nothing in his court appearance Thursday. (Charles V. Tines / The Detroit News)