May 2, 2012 at 1:00 am

2 accused in Farmington Hills attacks and slaying held dry run

Tucker Cipriano, left, and Robert Cipriano )

Farmington Hills — The two men accused of beating members of a Farmington Hills family with baseball bats carried out a "trial run" at the home and stole a credit card hours before the fatal attack, according to police reports reviewed by The Detroit News.

The reports paint a gruesome picture of the events early April 16 that ended with Robert Cipriano, 52, dead from head injuries and his wife, Rosemary, 51, and son Salvatore, 17, severely injured. Both remain in critical condition in Botsford Hospital.

The police reports say Tucker Cipriano, 19, and Mitchell Young, 20, both charged with murder and other counts, carried out the attack on Tucker's father, mother and brother during a break-in for cash and valuables.

"Tucker went crazy and started swinging," a sobbing Young told police in a taped interview after his arrest at the Cipriano home on Rose Hill Drive the morning of the attack, which was reported to police at 2:48 a.m.

The reports include an account by Salvatore's twin brother, Tanner, who describes hiding under his bed as his older brother hunted for him in the dark.

Tucker Cipriano and Young gave police different versions of their roles in the break-in, but some constants emerge from police interviews and affidavits.

It was a "job" the pair told police they planned earlier that night. Cipriano allegedly was talked out of his wish to get money and go "someplace warm, maybe, Mexico or Tennessee," Young's account states.

According to the reports, the pair went by the home for a "trial run" a few hours before the break-in and stole a credit card from the garage. They tried to use the card at an ATM but couldn't get money because they didn't have the PIN number.

The two young men then decided to go back to the Cipriano residence, the reports state.

On the second trip, Cipriano and Young went together in Young's Ford Ranger, which they parked a block away from the Cipriano home about 2 a.m., and walked to the darkened house.

Young told police he boosted Cipriano up against the side of the garage so he could force a window open and slip inside. Cipriano let Young in through a garage door and grabbed an aluminum bat.

The family dog, Emma, growled and barked at them as they entered the kitchen, so Cipriano grabbed the pet by the neck and pinned her to the floor, according to the documents.

The commotion apparently woke up Robert Cipriano, who showed up in the kitchen in his underwear and shouted at his oldest son to leave the house.

In response, "Tucker went crazy and started swinging" at his father, Young told police.

Young claimed when he tried to stop Cipriano, he yelled at Young: "You better shut up or you are going to join them."

Young said Cipriano then struck him in the face with the baseball bat, he told police.

According to Young, Rosemary Cipriano entered the kitchen and screamed: "Just leave. I love you and will give you money, just leave," the reports state.

Young said Cipriano handed him the bat and ordered him, "Keep it all quiet, keep her quiet."

Young said he pleaded with Mrs. Cipriano to be quiet but she would not, so he "began hitting her with the baseball bat."

Young said he only hit her because Cipriano threatened him. He said Cipriano then sought Salvatore and hit him with a bat.

Cipriano gave a different account, saying that Young started swinging and hitting his parents in the kitchen.

Cipriano's sister, Isabella, 8, came downstairs and Cipriano took her to the basement and told Young to "keep an eye on her," according to the reports.

Cipriano then went upstairs and fought with Salvatore. Salvatore chased his older brother back down the stairs. There, Cipriano hit him with a bat, according to Young.

At some point, Tucker Cipriano shut off the power to the house and went looking for Salvatore's twin, Tanner.

In a statement to police, Tanner said he heard noises and opened his bedroom door "and saw a person in dark clothes swinging a baseball bat at someone on the ground."

Tanner told police, "I ran back in my room and called 911 on my cellphone. As I was calling, I hid under my desk."

Tanner said he heard his mother yelling, "Stop Tucker. Just take the money. Go," and heard glass breaking.

Tanner said Cipriano came into the room and looked for him on the bed. "He did not see me, so he yelled to his friend, 'There's still one more. Search the house.'"

Tanner said in a few minutes, "I heard Tucker back in my room ... and called for a lighter from his friend."

He said his brother used the lighter to look under the bed "but didn't find me."

Shortly after that, the police arrived and Isabella let them in. Young was arrested and treated at a hospital for scratches to his face and a jaw injury. He complained of neck and back pain.

Cipriano slipped out a back door, police believe. He was arrested hours later at a friend's house in Keego Harbor.

Later when questioned by police Cipriano asked if his father was alive. When advised he was pronounced dead at the scene, Cipriano "broke down crying and stated that he was close with his father. He stated his father gave him a book about being a father and signed it for him," one police report read.

In a phone call to his own mother while in custody, Young was overheard by police telling her: "I'm sorry, Mom. None of this was supposed to happen. ..." before dropping the phone and collapsing on the booking room floor in tears.

mmartindale@detnews.com

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