Son charged in baseball bat attack on Mich. family

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In this undated photo released by the Dearborn, Mich., Public Schools, Robert Cipriano is shown. Cipriano, who managed finances for a Detroit-area school district, was clubbed to death with a baseball bat early Monday, April 16, 2012 in an attack that also left his wife and a son critically injured, police said. Police arrested three suspects, including the victim's 19-year-old son, who has a previous conviction for drugs. (AP Photo/Dearborn Public Schools)

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (AP) — A 19-year-old man on probation for drug convictions was charged with murder Wednesday for a baseball-bat attack on his family that killed his father and critically injured his mother and brother in suburban Detroit.

Separately, the Michigan Department of Corrections said it suspended Tucker Cipriano's probation agent while it investigates why there had been no formal contact between the two since mid-March.

Robert Cipriano, 52, was bludgeoned to death in the wee hours Monday after Tucker Cipriano and Mitchell Young, 20, broke into the family's home in Farmington Hills, northwest of Detroit, police said. Police believe the men were in search of cash or valuables.

Rose Cipriano, 51, and another son, Sal, 17, also were attacked with a bat and remain in critical condition. Sal's twin brother, who called 911, and an 8-year-old sister were not physically harmed.

"The tragedy and brutality of these crimes is horrific," Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper said.

Tucker Cipriano and Young — each charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and armed robbery — appeared in court Wednesday by video from a police lockup and were ordered to stay in jail without bail. Not-guilty pleas were entered, and defense attorneys will be assigned.

Young, who was captured inside the Cipriano home, sobbed loudly and declared, "I'm not guilty. I didn't do any of this!"

Tucker Cipriano is a high school dropout with drug convictions. He was released from jail in February and placed on probation. While in jail, he wrote a letter to a judge saying he wanted to join the Marines.

Cipriano was supposed to see his probation agent April 5 but didn't, Corrections Department spokesman Russ Marlan said. The agent has been suspended with pay, although Marlan emphasized that the penalty was not a direct consequence of the crimes.

"This isn't about someone's ability to predict this or see this coming," Marlan said Wednesday, noting that Cipriano had no history of violent crimes. "It's just the technical issues of supervising a case. If any offender misses a report date, our standards require an agent to take some action within two business days. That among other things will be what we're reviewing in our investigation."

Robert Cipriano was the financial manager at Dearborn schools, one of the largest districts in the Detroit area. At Detroit Catholic Central High School in Novi, where the Cipriano twins are juniors, 1,000 students signed a banner that says, "Sal and Tanner, Your CC Brothers Are With You."