Tucker Cipriano Update: Mich. man sentenced to life in prison in father's beating death says he loves him, "for what it's worth"

Tucker Cipriano stands next to his attorney Mitchell Ribitwer after pleading no contest to accusations he killed his father and injured his mother and brother with a baseball bat, in Pontiac, Mich., June 17, 2013.
AP Photo/Detroit Free Press, Brian Kaufman
(CBS) DETROIT - Tucker Cipriano, a 20-year-old Michigan man who pleaded no contest in last year's beating death of his adoptive father, said he still loves his dad, "for what it's worth," during his sentencing hearing Wednesday, CBS Detroit reports.

While Cipriano seemed to admit responsibility, his friend and alleged co-attacker Mitchell Young did not.

"He maintains his innocence, he plans to appeal," Young's attorney, Mike McCarthy said.

Both Cipriano and Young were sentenced to life in prison in the deadly attack. Cipriano avoided trial with the no contest plea to a murder charge. A no contest plea isn't an admission of guilt, but it is treated as such for sentencing.

Young, 21, was convicted at trial of first-degree murder, assault with intent to murder and other charges.

"I never intended for any of this to happen," Young said in court Wednesday. He blamed his "association with Tucker Cipriano" for what he said was a miscarriage of justice. At one point, he turned to his lawyer and lectured him, saying his expectations were not met.

Young proceeded to go over pages of perceived deficiencies in his defense as he addressed the court Wednesday. He claimed police and hospital staff tailored their testimony to the prosecution, saying, "While I'm a 21-year-old with no legal experience, I clearly recognize these points that I brought to [my lawyer's] attention that were not addressed."

Young did take some time to express sorrow to the Cipriano family.

"Words do very little to express the depth of sorrow I have for you," he said to the family. "I pray for you every day. I pray that all of you are able to heal. You have my best wishes and my prayers."

When it was Cipriano's turn to speak, he grabbed a sheet of paper with his shackled hands and read aloud a statement.

"My father was a great man and was there for me time and time again," he said. "[My father] helped me try to take control of my substance abuse issues."

The 2012 baseball bat attack which left 52-year-old Robert Cipriano dead was said to have been driven by a search for drug money in the Cipriano family's Farmington Hills, Mich. home.

Both Young and Cipriano were also accused in the severe beatings of Cipriano's 51-year-old mother, Rosemary, and his brother, Salvatore, who was 17 at the time.

During his sentencing hearing Wednesday, Cipriano added, "My mom is an amazing mom."

Breaking down briefly, he went on to say he wanted his dad back, as does "everyone who got a chance to meet him." He said his dad taught him to take responsibility and serve as a role model for his younger siblings.

"Tanner, Sal and Belly, I love you guys with all my heart," he said, addressing his younger siblings. "Dad, I love you, for what it's worth," he added.

Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Shalina Kumar spared Cipriano nothing.

"You've ruined the lives of people who did nothing but love you," Kumar said to the crying 20-year-old.

To Young, she said, "Your absolute refusal to take any responsibility is unbelievable to me. You clearly are a very intelligent young man. You are not someone who does not know right from wrong. You played a significant role in this."

Complete coverage of the Tucker Cipriano case on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff


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