Drug Counselor Found Guilty Of DUI-Fueled Murder

By McCarton Ackerman 02/07/14

Sherri Wilkins faces up to 55 years for driving over two miles with a dying man stuck in her windshield while drunk.

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Sherri Wilkins Photo via

A former substance abuse counselor now faces spending the rest of her life in prison after being convicted of second-degree murder and DUI, among other charges.

Sherri Lynn Wilkins, 52, was found guilty by a Los Angeles jury on Tuesday for the November 2012 murder of Phillip Moreno, a pedestrian she hit while driving drunk. After Wilkins hit the man with her car in the suburb of Torrance, she drove for more than two miles while the dying man remained stuck in her windshield. She did not stop until a crowd of witnesses surrounded the car and detained her while police were called. Moreno later died at the hospital.

Wilkins’ blood alcohol level was more than double the legal limit at the time of the accident. After three days of deliberation, the jury also found her guilty of driving under the influence, causing injury, and leaving the scene of the accident. She faces up to 55 years in prison, which would essentially be a life sentence for her.

“[The jury] felt that they thoroughly reviewed the evidence and spoke the truth about this case. This case was a complete tragedy. It was preventable,” said prosecutor John Harlan. “She should have pulled over and the way she treated Phillip Moreno struck at the core of human dignity. Our society does not put up with people that don’t pull over after they’ve struck someone and that person is bleeding to death on their windshield.”

Prior to the charges against her, Wilkins also had two previous burglary convictions.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.