Macomb County man charged in crash that killed girl

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published September 18, 2020

 Timothy Otto

Timothy Otto


WARREN — A Chesterfield Township man has been charged with second-degree murder, vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving causing death following a Warren Police Department investigation into a crash that killed a 10-year-old girl on July 25.

Timothy John Otto, of Chesterfield Township, voluntarily surrendered to Warren detectives and was arraigned before 37th District Court Judge Michael Chupa on Sept. 4.

According to a statement issued by Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer, the investigation revealed that Otto was driving a 2000 Ford dump truck when he ran a red light at 10 Mile and Ryan roads. The truck reportedly struck a 2003 Honda driven by 36-year-old Erica Giannini, of Warren, and her daughter, Giana Giannini, 10.

As a result of the crash, a backhoe the truck was pulling on a trailer crushed the passenger side of the Honda, killing the girl.

“This can only be described as a tragedy all the way around,” Dwyer said.

Police said previously that the girl and her mother had just left Tim Hortons on the southeast corner of the intersection. A memorial of balloons, flowers, signs and stuffed animals was later assembled on the opposite corner, by the Shell gas station.

The judge set Otto’s bail at $75,000 and ordered that he be required to wear a locating tether upon release ahead of his next court appearance, a probable cause conference now scheduled for 9 a.m. on Oct. 27.

His attorney according to court records, Gary Sanfield, could not be reached for comment by press time.

Second-degree murder is punishable by any number of years up to life in prison. Vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving causing death are both 15-year felonies.