DETROIT (FOX 2) - A 31-year-old man was sentenced Tuesday for driving under the influence and killing a retired Sterling Heights police officer downtown Detroit in December 2018.
Jimi Pierowich of Detroit pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 42 months to 15 years in prison for operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death in a fatal hit-and-run crash that killed 50-year-old Daryl Brown.
Police said around 2:15 a.m. December 2018, Brown was crossing the street at Jefferson and Beaubien with a relative when he was hit by a car. The driver, now identified as Pierowich, fled the scene.
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Brown was taken to the hospital where he died, as police located and arrested Pierowich, who police say was cooperative. He reportedly told the arresting officer that he had had two beers with some friends a couple hours prior to the incident.
The officer, who was also the husband of Macomb Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Faunce, had just retired in June of last year after 26 years with the department. He was a husband and father, and was reportedly returning to a hotel that night with his cousin after hearing his daughter sing at the Fox Theater that night.
"The choices I made that awful night against my better judgement will forever haunt me, knowing those choices caused such a tragedy," Pierowich said before learning his sentence. "Not a day goes by that I'm not filled with remorse. I want to sincerely apologize from the bottom of my heart to Judge Faunce and her family. I am both ashamed and disgusted that my irresponsible choices took away such a special life from those who loved him dearly. I would never wish for anything to happen to anyone and I will live with this shame for the rest of my life."
Wayne Circuit Court Judge Mariam Bazzi said that while all life cut short is a tragedy, there's something more about deaths caused by operating a vehicle while under the influence -- they're preventable.
"They are created because of the conscious decisions that people make to drink and drive. Unfortunately it happens all the time," she said. "We see it regularly in the criminal court and Mr. P I just can't understand, you having been in an accident years prior because of drinking and driving, for you to make that decision, for you to be so lighthearted about that decision, it just -- I can't understand it, frankly."