LOS ANGELES (AP) — A substance-abuse counselor who drove 2 miles through a Los Angeles suburb with a dying man on her windshield faces a maximum prison term of 45 years to life at her sentencing scheduled for Wednesday.
A jury last month found Sherry Lynn Wilkins, 52, guilty of second-degree murder, drunken driving and hit-and-run for the incident that killed 31-year-old Phillip Moreno in Torrance in November 2012.
Wilkins has also has two previous felony convictions that are considered serious and make her eligible for California’s three strikes law.
Prosecutors at the time of the trial said Wilkins’ blood-alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit, and that what she did to Moreno “struck at human dignity.”
“We do not tolerate someone who does not pull over when they see someone on their windshield,” Deputy District Attorney John Harlan said after the verdict.
Wilkins, who was an addict before she became a drug and alcohol counselor, said she had been drinking that night but wasn’t drunk. She said she had been “self-medicating” while waiting for knee-replacement surgery and had consumed three servings of vodka and a can of Budweiser beer and Clamato before starting to drive.
She testified that she never saw Moreno coming and it was as if he fell out of the sky.