PONTIAC, Mich. - Just before the start of his trial, 20-year-old Tucker Cipriano pleaded no contest Monday to felony murder in the brutal baseball attack that killed his father, Bob Cipriano, and left his mother, Rose, and brother, Sal, seriously hurt in their Farmington Hills home in 2012.
Mandatory life in prison is what he faces, without the possibility of parole.
"Do you understand, what your plea is?" asked Oakland County Judge Shalina Kumar.
Cipriano responded, "Yes."
This major development comes in the middle of jury selection for his co-defendant Mitchell Young, and just a few weeks after Greg Cipriano, Tucker's uncle, sent a letter to Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper asking her to consider a plea deal to prevent the family from reliving the tragedy.
Cooper refused, saying the only way to avoid trial was for Cipriano, and Young to plead guilty as charged.
A decision Tucker ultimately made on his own. His lawyer says because he didn't want his family to go through a painful trial.
"Do you understand this is a life sentence?," asked Cipriano's attorney, Mitchell Ribitwer.
Cipriano said he understood.
Cipriano and Young were allegedly high on synthetic marijuana called K2 when they broke into family's Farmington Hills home April 16, 2012.
Cipriano's 8-year-old sister Isabella and brother Tanner, who were home at the time but no hurt, were on a list of witnesses.
They've avoided the stand this time but there's still the possibility they'll be called to testify in Young's trial.
A jury was selected in his trial Monday afternoon. Trial will begin Wednesday.
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