A Dearborn man has been arraigned on a second-degree murder charge in the hit-and-run death of a Taylor auxiliary police officer who was helping lost motorists on an expressway shoulder.
Nino E. Delpiano, 40, appeared by video Sunday for the brief hearing in 34th District Court.
A judge ordered Delpiano held on a $5 million cash bond until his preliminary examination Sept. 22.
54-year old Lt. Dan Kromer was hit Tuesday evening as he helped a stranded motorist on westbound I-94 near Pelham. He had served 20 years with the Taylor Police Department.
A police investigation shows Delpiano was driving at a high rate of speed when he allegedly hit Kromer. He kept driving. Delpiano was arrested Thursday night.
He’s also charged with manslaughter with a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of a fatal accident and driving with a suspended license. If convicted, Delpiano could spend the rest of his life in prison.
“I am extremely proud of our officers who worked 24 hours a day resulting in these charges. We have been through a lot in the past two months but our department is stronger than ever,” Taylor Police Chief Dale Tamsen said
“It is an unimaginable tragedy for the Taylor Police and the City of Taylor that they have lost two fine law enforcement officers in less than a few months to violence,” said Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy in a statement. “ In this case the defendant allegedly struck Lt. Kromer and left him like a dog on the side of the road.”
Worthy announced the charges against Delpiano Saturday.
Meantime, visitation and a funeral have been set for Kromer.
Visitation will be held at Martenson Funeral Home, 10915 Allen Road, Allen Park on:
Tuesday September 14, 2010
2pm to 4pm Family Visitation only
4pm to 5pm Taylor Police Personnel and their families only
5pm to 9pm General Public visitation
Wednesday September 15, 2010
2pm to 9pm General Public
A funeral will be held Thursday at Wayne County Community College Downriver Campus, 21000 Northline, Taylor.
The service will start at noon. Police are planning to assemble starting around 9 a.m.
Anyone who would like to make a donation to the Kromer family should send them in care of the Thin Blue Line at any PNC Bank account # 4244506-209
© MMX WWJ Radio, All Rights Reserved. AP contributed to this report.