Jury selection for the second defendant in the Cipriano murder trial proceeded slowly Thursday in Oakland County Circuit Court.
Mitchell Young is charged along with Tucker Cipriano in the baseball bat beating death of Tucker's father, Robert Cipriano, during a robbery attempt last year at the Cipriano home in Farmington Hills. That attack also critically injured Tucker Cipriano's mother, Rose, and his brother, Sal.
The two young men will be tried together, with separate juries.
Mitchell Young appeared in court well-groomed and dressed in a suit. He occasionally turned to smile at individuals in the courtroom. At one point he gave a thumbs up sign. This appearance was in marked contrast to the sobbing responses Young gave when he was arraigned after his arrest.
It took two days earlier this week to seat a jury for Tucker Cipriano. A long day of questioning Thursday led to 26 potential jurors moved into the jury pool. Many potential jurors were excused because they wee emotionally overcome regarding the case. Others told of being friends with members of the Cipriano family.
Judge Shalina Kumar joined with prosecutors and defense attorneys in questioning potential jurors. Many questions involved media coverage, and specifically, recent reports that the Cipriano family favored a plea agreement to avoid a trial.
Michael McCarthy, attorney for Mitchell Young, said he was not surprised by the slow progress of the jury selection process.
"I think it's pretty much what I expected. I thought that it would take a while and we'd have to go through each person who knew or said they had heard something about it and speak with them individually and I knew that would take some time, so I'm not surprised about the pace at which we are moving right now," McCarthy said.
The jury selection process for Mitchell Young will resume Friday morning.
If a jury can be seated, opening statements in the trial will take place next Monday.
Complete coverage: Cipriano Murder trial special section