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Substance abuse counselor drunk-drives for miles with dead man on windshield

by Ellen Killoran

She later claimed he seemed to jump out at her car

A former substance abuse counselor was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison after she was convicted of killing a man in a horrific drunk driving accident in 2012.

Sherri Lynn Wilkins of Torrance, California, was driving home after consuming alcohol when she hit Philip Moreno, 31, according to the Associated Press. But instead of stopping the car, she continued to drive with the victim, partially clothed, on her windshield until other drivers intervened at a stoplight.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Wilkins reportedly told the witnesses that Moreno seemed to jump out in front of her car.

Wilkins had reportedly drank three shots of vodka and her beer in her car before hitting the man. In her first trial, the defense argued that there would not have been enough time between consuming the alcohol and hitting Moreno for her blood-alcohol level to be over the legal limit. When her blood-alcohol level was tested later, it was about twice the legal limit.

In February 2016, a judge overturned Wilkins’ previous conviction, which carried a sentence of 55 years to life, because her entire criminal history was admitted in the trial and was found to have potentially biased jurors.

Wilkins subsequently pleaded no contest to one count of second-degree murder and two counts of drunk driving.

 

Photo: Associated Press

Ellen is a seasoned journalist and former media & entertainment reporter with a taste for true crime. Formerly a senior editor at IBTimes, her work has appeared in Forbes, Rolling Stone, Maxim, NYMag, Indiewire, and more. She co-produced the HBO documentary "Youth Knows No Pain" and appeared in a documentary series that aired alongside the Lifetime movie "Manson's Lost Girls."