CRIME
05/24/2012 12:44 pm ET

Tucker Cipriano, Mitchell Young Split Up Family Killing Assignments, Friend Testifies

Tucker Cipriano was tasked with killing his two brothers. His friend, Mitchell Young, agreed to end the lives of Cipriano's mom, dad and sister.

Ian Zinderman, 20 -- who has known 19-year-old Cipriano since the fifth grade -- testified in a Farmington Hills, Mich. court Wednesday that the two alleged murderers divvied up which of Cipriano's family members to kill weeks before the plan was hatched, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Asked by prosecutors why Young, not Cipriano, would kill 8-year-old Isabella, Zinderman said, "Tucker loved his sister," the paper reported.

Zinderman knew about the plan but reportedly did not take part.

Cipriano and 20-year-old Young were charged last month with first-degree murder after they allegedly beat the teen's father, Robert, to death with baseball bats. They then attempted to kill his mother, two brothers and sister, cops say. Rose Cipriano, his 51-year-old mother, and his brother, 17-year-old Salvatore Cipriano, were critically injured in the attack, while Salvatore's twin brother, Tanner, and 8-year-old sister, Isabella, were not harmed.

At the hearing Wednesday -- a preliminary proceeding meant to determine whether enough evidence exists to take the case to trial in Oakland County -- Zinderman wept and told prosecutors that he declined at the last minute to participate in the weeks-long plot to kill the Cipriano family, the Detroit News reported.

Zinderman testified that he went to the Cipriano home with the two men twice on the night of the attack, and that Cipriano had second thoughts about killing his family.

"He asked Roderick [Young] to roll another joint because he didn't want to have second thoughts about it," Zinderman said.

The duo wanted to steal money from Cipriano's family and then escape to Mexico with it, Zinderman testified.

The two men allegedly hatched the plan on April 16, but it went awry when one of Cipriano's brothers was able to call police from the home before the attack began.

Zinderman was granted immunity because he cooperated with police and agreed to testify, the paper reported.

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