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A 30-year-old man from Detroit was arraigned Saturday in connection to the death of a retired Sterling Heights police sergeant.

Jimi Pierowich has been charged with operating while intoxicated causing death, following a car crash Friday in Detroit that left 50-year-old Daryl Brown dead.

The felony carries a maximum of 15 years in jail and a fine up to $10,000, according to Wayne County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Maria Miller.

Pierowich was arraigned Saturday in the 34th District Court in Romulus, where he received a $10,000 bond with a 10 percent cash surety and an alcohol tether, a device that monitors the level of alcohol in his blood.

Miller said the prosecutor's office would look at the appropriateness of the bond and address it in court.

“This is is a very sad case," Miller said in a statement. "Mr. Brown was a man who dedicated his life to protect the public from harm. The alleged acts of the defendant took retired Sgt. Brown, from his family, friends, and the citizens of Sterling Heights.”

A probable cause conference and preliminary examination are scheduled for after the new year.

According to the prosecutor's office, at 2:15 a.m. Friday Brown was crossing East Jefferson Avenue at Beaubien Street with a male relative when he was struck by a silver Pontiac G6. Detroit police previously said, according to preliminary information, the car dragged the victim several feet and then fled the scene.

Medics took Brown to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to the prosecutor's office.

Officers later located the G6 and Pierowich, who they arrested, according to the prosecutor's office. Police said the driver was cooperating with investigators.

Paul Stablein, Pierowich's lawyer, said he has not yet seen any evidence or the basis for the charge, but contested that the incident was a hit-and-run.

"He hasn't been antagonistic; he's a good kid," Stablein said. "The officer that testified this morning said that Mr. Pierowich had stayed there."

Holly Lowe, a public information officer for Detroit police, said none of the police reports say the suspect fled.

Meanwhile, Sterling Heights Police Chief Dale Dwojakowski has said the entire city and his police department are mourning Brown's death.

Brown was a road officer, narcotics officer and sergeant in the Sterling Heights Police Traffic Safety Bureau, officials said.

“Our Sterling Heights Police family is devastated at the loss of retired Sterling Heights
Police Sergeant Daryl Brown," he said in a statement. "Daryl will always be remembered
for his big smile and his caring spirit. As great of a police officer Daryl was, he was an
even better father and friend."

Dwojakowski said Brown served in the department for 26 years as a road officer, narcotics officer and in its traffic safety bureau.

He also said Brown leaves behind his wife, Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Faunce, and two young children.

“Our sincerest condolences go out to Sgt. Brown’s family during this difficult time,” Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor said in a statement. “It is truly devastating to the entire City of Sterling Heights family to lose someone who was so special in such a senseless way. Sgt. Brown will be remembered in Sterling Heights for his years of dedicated service to our police force.”

bnoble@detroitnews.com

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