UPDATE: Substance Abuse Counselor Sherri Wilkins, Who Drove 2 Miles With Victim Phillip Moreno's Body Embeded In Her Windshield, Has Been Found Guilty of 2nd Degree Murder

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Normal UPDATE: Substance Abuse Counselor Sherri Wilkins, Who Drove 2 Miles With Victim Phillip Moreno's Body Embeded In Her Windshield, Has Been Found Guilty of 2nd Degree Murder

Post by raine1953 on Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:42 am

Family of man killed by alleged drunk driver: Death 'unimaginable'
November 27, 2012

The family of a Torrance man allegedly killed by a substance-abuse counselor driving drunk described the death of their "beloved son and brother" as "tragic and unimaginable."

Attorney Kevin Danesh released a statement Monday on behalf of Phillip Moreno's family, saying relatives "appreciate the support of family, friends and neighbors and want to extend a special thanks to the members of the Torrance community and the first responders that tried to lend comfort to Phillip in his final moments."

Police said Sherri Wilkins, 51, hit Moreno as he tried to cross Torrance Boulevard on Saturday night and kept driving more than two miles with the 31-year-old embedded in her windshield. Other motorists managed to stop her at 182nd Street and Crenshaw Boulevard and grab her keys, Sgt. Robert Watt said.

Moreno had a pulse when officers arrived but was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Watt said Wilkins had a blood-alcohol level more than double the 0.08 legal limit.

Wilkins was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence and manslaughter, but Watt said additional charges were possible at her arraignment, which was expected Tuesday.

Wilkins had a certification in drug and alcohol counseling and worked at a Torrance treatment center, where she led small-group classes six evenings a week. She wrote in an undated Myspace profile that "she used to be into drugs very heavy" and "with that came terrible choices," but that she had been sober for 11 years.

Watt said she told police she was on her way home from work at the time of the crash, but officials at the treatment center said it had only daytime meetings on Saturdays and was closed.
"There was absolutely nothing that gave us an indication that she was in a danger zone," said David Lisonbee, president of Twin Town Treatment Centers.

"We feel just absolutely appalled and horrified that this happened to both families," he added. "It's a horrible tragedy."

In 2010, Wilkins faced charges of driving under the influence, hit and run and being under the influence of a controlled substance after she allegedly hit a power pole at the intersection of 182nd Street and Hawthorne Boulevard — less than two miles from where Moreno was pulled from her windshield.

Wilkins dragged the pole into the road, where a few other cars struck it and were damaged, said Patrick Sullivan, assistant city attorney for Torrance.

That case, however, was eventually dismissed. Sullivan said Wilkins' blood-alcohol level came back at zero and the levels of drugs were "so low" an expert couldn't testify there was an impairment. Wilkins reached a civil compromise with the other drivers.

Watt said it was "hard to say" if Moreno would have survived had Wilkins stopped earlier. The 18-year police veteran called the incident "mind-boggling."

"I've never seen this," Watt said. "It shows you how impaired she must have been."

At a makeshift memorial at the corner where Moreno was struck, friends described the Torrance man as a jokester, someone who loved sports and having a good time.

A man who went to high school with Moreno's older brother, who gave his name only as Armando, said he couldn't believe the driver didn't stop.

"At least pull over," he said. "There's a gas station right there. Pull in and say you made a mistake, drop him off and flee if you want."

Danesh said a memorial fund had been established to help Moreno's family cover medical and funeral expenses. Donations can be made online or deposited to the "Phillip Moreno Memorial Fund" at Torrance Community Federal Credit Union.
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Normal Addiction counselor charged with murder in DUI

Post by raine1953 on Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:54 am

7:38PM EST November 27. 2012 -

TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — The convertible hit Phillip Moreno so hard it knocked him out of his shoes and lodged him in the windshield.
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Must read!
Video at link too!
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Normal Re: UPDATE: Substance Abuse Counselor Sherri Wilkins, Who Drove 2 Miles With Victim Phillip Moreno's Body Embeded In Her Windshield, Has Been Found Guilty of 2nd Degree Murder

Post by raine1953 on Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:55 am

BTW, I'll find the link but it has been reported several times that not only was Moreno hit so hard it knocked him out of his shoes but his pants too. He was walking home from a bar after just three beers (I think, lots of info in above article).
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Normal DWI Suspect Who Drove With Man Impaled on Car Is Drug Counselor

Post by raine1953 on Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:02 am

A woman accused of driving drunk when she hit a pedestrian and who allegedly kept going for more than two miles while he was stuck to her car is a substance abuse counselor, officials said today.
Sherri Wilkins, 51, is accused of hitting Phillip Moreno, 35, with her Mitsubishi Eclipse, causing him to roll onto the car’s hood and then through the windshield. Moreno became embedded through the windshield as she continued driving for 2.3 miles, according to Torrance police.
Bystanders who saw Moreno on the hood of the car called police and eventually forced Wilkins to come to a stop.
Wilkins told police she “panicked” when she hit Moreno Saturday night around 11:30 p.m., according to Sgt. Robert Watt of the Torrance police department. Her blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit when she was tested after the accident, Watt said.
Wilkins, a recovering addict, was working as a “chemical dependency counselor” at Twin Town Treatment Center, the company’s president David Lisonbee told ABCNews.com. He said that many counselors are recovering addicts. Lisonbee called the situation “tragic” and noted that Wilkins had not worked at the treatment center in the days leading up to the accident.
Moreno, who remained alive while embedded in the window, was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. He had been crossing the street when he was struck. Moreno’s family declined to comment about the accident.
Wilkins was charged with driving under the influence, felony hit and run, and manslaughter. She is being held on $100,000 bond and awaiting her arraignment, Watt said.
Lisonbee said that the situation highlights the need for counselors to prioritize their own recovery.
A similar case occurred in 2003 when Chante J. Mallard, who was 27 at the time, had been drunk and high on marijuana and Ecstasy when she hit Gregory Biggs. Biggs was partially thrown through the windshield. Mallard drove with him to her house, afraid to call police while she was intoxicated. She parked her car in her garage, apologized to Biggs and left him. She and a friend later dumped Biggs’ body in a park.
Mallard was convicted and sentenced to 50 years in prison.
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Normal Sherri Wilkins Hits Philip Moreno With Car, Drives With Him Through Windshield: Cops

Post by raine1953 on Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:11 am

A California drug and alcohol counselor has been arrested after allegedly hitting a pedestrian with her car and driving for over two miles with the dying man lying partially through her windshield.

Police say Sherri Wilkins, 51, of Torrance, was driving drunk at around 11:25 pm on Saturday when her vehicle struck 31-year-old Philip Moreno, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"[Moreno was] literally embedded in her hood and into the windshield," Sgt. Robert Watt told the Torrance Daily Breeze. "She knew he was somehow embedded into her car but she panicked."

The impact knocked Moreno, who was crossing the street after leaving a bar, out of his shoes and shorts, according to the GA Daily News.

Wilkins, whose blood alcohol level was allegedly almost twice the legal limit, drove 2.3 miles with the man atop her car before passersby were able to convince her to stop.

Moreno was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Wilkins was arrested for manslaughter and driving under the influence. She is being held on $100,000 bail.


According to KABC, Wilkins is employed as a drug and alcohol counselor at Twin Town Treatment Center in Torrance. One of her clients is reportedly a family member of Moreno.
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Normal Re: UPDATE: Substance Abuse Counselor Sherri Wilkins, Who Drove 2 Miles With Victim Phillip Moreno's Body Embeded In Her Windshield, Has Been Found Guilty of 2nd Degree Murder

Post by raine1953 on Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:24 am

Dr Drew transcript from 12.3.2012 on the above. I can't find the video for it (help someone?), so here's the transcript in part.
DR. DREW

Deadly DUI; Interview with Family of Man Killed in Shocking DUI Accident

Aired December 3, 2012 - 21:00 ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, an exclusive interview with the family of a man killed in a shocking DUI accident.

Ten days ago, Philip Moreno was mowed down, allegedly struck by a driver named Sherri Wilkins. According to authorities, she drove for two miles with the man embedded in her windshield. Police say she had twice the legal blood alcohol limit.

Wilkins is an addiction counselor who treats people who are trying to get sober and she now is charged with murder.

Let`s get started.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PINSKY: This is both an outrageous and a tragic story. It has a California town shaken. An addiction counselor in a treatment center has been accused of driving drunk and killing 31-year-old Philip Moreno. He`s going to be buried this Wednesday.

We`re grateful to have his sister Yolanda and brother-in-law Marco, are here to for an exclusive interview. Also joining us their two attorneys, Kevin Danesh and Sean Banafsheh.

Marco, thank you, gentlemen, for allowing us to talk to your clients. We do appreciate it very much.

Yolanda, you look stricken.

YOLANDA SALGADO, BROTHER KILLED BY ALLEGED DRUNK DRIVER: Yes.

PINSKY: It was your brother we`re talking about.

Y. SALGADO: Yes.

PINSKY: I`m going to have Marco tell the story first. Are you OK with that?

Y. SALGADO: Yes.

PINSKY: Marco, you were actually at the scene. Tell us what happened.

MARCO SALGADO, BROTHER-IN-LAW KILLED BY ALLEGED DRUNK DRIVER: Yes, I got dispatched about 1:30 in the morning to go out and basically do my job. I work for the city of Torrance and for traffic and lighting. So, whenever there`s an accident as big as this, they sent out to put cones especially when they`re doing investigations.

I went out to put out my cones as usual and let them do their investigation. But as I was standing there I noticed a shoe on the floor, and it was across the street from the bar and I figured, well, maybe I know somebody there. It`s so close to --

PINSKY: It looked familiar. The shoe looked familiar.

M. SALGADO: Yes, absolutely. And I started asking nor questions to the officer, like what happened and this and that. I said my brother-in- law goes to this bar a lot, you know? He likes to go to this bar. And he said well the person that got hit was 31 -- my brother-in-law`s 31.

And he just asked me for his name. Philip Moreno. And just told me, that was the person.

So, unfortunately, he told me I couldn`t make no phone calls. I kind of went into shock a little bit. I didn`t know what to do. He said don`t call nobody.

PINSKY: Were you close to the brother-in-law?

M. SALGADO: Oh, yes. Definitely. We used to go and have a few drinks in that bar also. So I basically just had to wait until they were done with their investigation. And then notify the family.

PINSKY: So then you went home and that`s when Yolanda found out?

M. SALGADO: Yes. I went and told my brother-in-law Daniel and then I went and had to tell my wife.

PINSKY: What was that like for you? You said you were in shock. Were you just numb?

M. SALGADO: Definitely numb.

PINSKY: You seem a little numb still now.

M. SALGADO: Yes. I still can`t believe it. I can`t believe it.

PINSKY: Yolanda, how about you?

Y. SALGADO: I can`t believe it. This is like a really bad nightmare.

PINKSY: There`s even a weirder twist in this, isn`t there? Sherri, the person that -- who is an addiction counselor who relapsed obviously, drunk drove with your brother on the windshield for two miles? She was just that out of it that she drove with somebody lying on her car hood?

M. SALGADO: I would guess.

PINSKY: Yolanda, she is actually someone you had spoken to before.

Y. SALGADO: Yes. I mean, I went to one of the family nights when he was being treated --

PINSKY: Who?

M. SALGADO: Me. She`s my counselor.

PINSKY: She`s your addiction counselor?

M. SALGADO: Yes.

Y. SALGADO: Yes.

PINSKY: So you`re an alcoholic.

M. SALGADO: Yes.

PINSKY: And you were in treatment. How many days sober you have now?

M. SALGADO: Forty-three.

PINSKY: Congratulations.

And this must have challenged that tremendously. I mean, we`ll get into that later. That`s just for you, just shattering no doubt.

I`m sure there`s a lot of legal issues involved. I see you guys straighten up as soon as this issue of a caretaker endangering the well being of another one of their clients quite literally. You had spoken to this woman before.

Y. SALGADO: Me? Yes. I actually went to a family night because she said it`s good to, you know, support. And I was -- I wanted to support him, so I went. We spent, actually, three hours together doing like a exercise on how I can open up with him and, you know, share with him why if I`m angry, you know, how it`s effected our marriage.

PINSKY: So she did a couples session with you two.

Y. SALGADO: Yes.

PINSKY: So what happened when you found out this was who killed your brother?

Y. SALGADO: Oh, my God.

So, after my husband broke the news at home, we went to my dad`s house and then we all went to the hospital. Then after the hospital we went to the Torrance P.D. to see what, you know, what`s going on. You know, who was it? Or if they can give us any information.

And they were really good with us. And I don`t know how many minutes into it, but they let us know who was involved. And he just -- because I knew her name was Sherri, but I didn`t know her last name. So when they told him the name, it was like -- he looked at me and I`m like, no, no, no. Because I knew her as Sherri. When they said Sherri Wilkins, I -- he was - -

PINSKY: He Marco?

Y. SALGADO: Yes. Marco was --

PINSKY: Went ballistic.

Y. SALGADO: He just couldn`t believe it. He couldn`t believe it.

PINSKY: What are you feeling now?

Y. SALGADO: I`m so -- I`m so angry. I`m so angry, because all this time she was trying to help Marco and who knows what she was doing. I`m so angry.

PINSKY: So you questioned everything she did. You don`t think it was just that one night that she relapsed. Marco, you don`t think so?

Y. SALGADO: Oh, I don`t think so. I mean, I think she had her own little demons. She had a -- you know, she -- when I went there, she had a cup. I mean, who knows what it was. To me she never looked right.

I just -- I always questioned how she was. You know, she called me a few times to make sure, you know, I would go to the family night, you know, to support Marco and you know --

PINSKY: Tell us about your brother. Who is the man she has robbed us?

Y. SALGADO: Such -- Philip was so -- he was those type of people where everybody loved him. Everybody wanted to be around him. He knew everybody. He was a well-liked man, real loving person.

PINSKY: Did he have kids?

Y. SALGADO: No. He didn`t have any kids.

PINSKY: Do you guys have kids?

Y. SALGADO: Yes.

PINSKY: Did he have a relationship with them?

Y. SALGADO: Oh, yes. He had a close relationship with my sons.

PINSKY: How are your kids dealing with this?

Y. SALGADO: They`re sad. I mean, they`re taking it a little hard. They were close to him. You know, he loved video games.

My sons were into sports. They loved sports. Philip was a big, big Raider fan, big Laker fan. Loved Kobe Bryant.

I mean, he was -- he had a really good bond with them. And she took it.

PINSKY: She stole all this from you.

I appreciate you being here today.

Y. SALGADO: We`re all -- we`re just --

PINSKY: I`m going to take a little break. OK? We`re going to keep talking about this. You all right?

Y. SALGADO: Yes.

PINSKY: OK. So what we`re going to do now is eventually I`m going to actually bring another alcoholic who was involved in a drunk driving, killed two people. She`s having to live with that to this day.

We`re going to go to break. I want you to watch this tape of a witness at the scene of this fatal crash.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She didn`t have to turn down Crenshaw and go miles down the road where there`s no police department, no fire department.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PINSKY: We are talking about outrageous and tragic case of a 31-year- old man who was hit by an alleged drunk driver and then killed, driven two miles down the road. This was a chemical dependency counselor at an addiction treatment facility.

Joining me now is Anna David. She`s executive director of thefix.com, she herself a recovering addict.

Anna, let`s talk about how shocking it is or is not to hear that an addiction counselor relapsed and was involved in such a horrific accident.

ANNA DAVID, EXEC. EDITOR, TEHFIX.COM: It`s a horrible, horrible story. And Yolanda and Marco, I`m so, so sorry. It`s -- anecdotally I would say you do not hear of addiction counselors relapsing all that often. The accident in itself is so tragic that that is more shocking. But a great many sober people work as addiction counselors, statistics say it`s about 50 percent of the people that work there, and relapse is a part of the disease.

There does seem to be a denial a bit in the community where we say relapse is part of the disease, people relapse. But then we have these expectations that people who work in recovery aren`t actually addicts in the same way civilians are.

I remember when Jeff VanVonderen from "Intervention" relapsed, people were shocked.

But it does happen and it is a tragedy. I think it`s more of a tragedy when an addiction counselor relapses.

PINSKY: OK. Let`s -- Anna, let`s shine a little light on this. I mean, you could walk out here and relapse right now. I mean, that`s how cunning your disease is, right?

DAVID: Absolutely.

PINSKY: It could happen right now.

DAVID: Anybody could.

PINSKY: But let`s talk about -- are you likely to get in a car and drive if you relapse?

DAVID: Well, I think if your relapse, you are not in control necessarily of your decisions anymore. You are still responsible for them, but anything could happen.

PINSKY: So let me go to the attorneys. Gentlemen, how do we prevent that? Somebody relapses -- do you think there was more going on here where she was so out of it she didn`t know what was going on? Or was she trying to get away from the scene? How do we make sense of this and prevent this.

KEVIN DANESH, PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY FOR MORENO FAMILY: Go ahead.

SEAN BANAFSHEH, PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY FOR MORENO FAMILY: Go ahead.

DANESH: Absolutely there`s some extenuating factors. She`s a repeat offender with past criminal history. She`s demonstrated a propensity to have this exact thing happen. She got into a hit and run accident --

PINSKY: In the past?

DANESH: In the past. Just two years ago.

PINSKY: Oh, two years ago?

DANESH: Correct.

PINSKY: While intoxicated?

DANESH: Allegedly, she was intoxicated, but because it was a hit and run, by the time they were able to do the testing, they couldn`t make a determination.

PINSKY: Was she working as an addiction counselor back then?

DANESH: No. She started the job about a year later.

PINSKY: Year after a hit and run?

DANESH: Correct.

PINSKY: Anything you want to ad to this?

BANAFSHEH: You know better than anyone that 90 percent of people in their first four years of treatment, they relapse at least once.

PINSKY: Well, we used to have a rule of thumb we didn`t want to hire anybody unless they were sober five years. That was sort of a rule of thumb we use for this very reason. So, I`m a little surprised to hear that somebody -- maybe the legal system kept that all hidden from the hiring professionals. You know, sometimes, people were able to hide stuff in employment application.

BANAFSHEH: With that being said, this is -- you know this. You`ve dedicated your life to this. This is a disease.


PINSKY: Yes.

BANAFSHEH: And when people get drunk it`s not how you and I have a drink, they`re really getting drunk. And, you know, yes, of course they`re going to get behind a wheel. They`re not thinking. You know, they`re relapsing.

And it`s what can we do to prevent this and a lot of people might not like me saying this, but I think every single car should have a breathalyzer in there.

PINSKY: Every car in the country.

BANAFSHEH: Every car in the country -- and I will back up why I`m saying this. We, you know, spent -- I think the U.S. spends over $100 billion in alcohol-related accidents. And this is not that expensive.

PINSKY: So, for a billion, we could save $99 billion maybe.

BANAFSHEH: You know, it costs -- more than 10,000 people are dying a year. And this is fixable.
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Normal Re: UPDATE: Substance Abuse Counselor Sherri Wilkins, Who Drove 2 Miles With Victim Phillip Moreno's Body Embeded In Her Windshield, Has Been Found Guilty of 2nd Degree Murder

Post by raine1953 on Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:39 am

If anyone is wondering if I'm obsessed with this case, I am. In the transcript above from Dr. Drew it's revealed that this female was drinking in 2010 and had a similar accident, sans the human being. Her blood alcohol couldn't be proved since she was arrested hours later. When she was hired at the treatment facility, IF they really did run a background check that 2010 incident should have showed up and she should not have been hired to work with the clients! MOO. I worked at one of these addiction treatment centers for 3-4 years and thank god not this one! All of our counselors were recovering addicts/alcoholics as most are at every place. I'm thinking about going by the place I used to work this week (also in Torrance) and see what I can find out from the owner. I know there has to be much more to this story than what's being reported in the media. This poor man should never have been hit by her car. I cannot imagine no matter how drunk I could be not realizing I had a human or maybe if I stretch the truth a dog embedded in my windshield! And I know I would stop that vehicle, no way would I speed away!
Anyway I'll post what I find out from my former boss when I know something!

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Substance Abuse Counselor Sherri Wilkins, Who Drove 2 Miles With Victim Phillip Moreno's Body Embeded In Her Windshield, Has Been Found Guilty of 2nd Degree Murder

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:28 am

OMG, This is Horrific!!!! And she was a drug/alcohol counselor???

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Post by Wrapitup on Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:14 am


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Post by raine1953 on Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:52 am

Dr Drew said on the above video that he has always made it a practice NOT to hire an addiction counselor until they've had five years sobriety.
That place she worked for either did not check her background or they missed that really huge red flag in 2010!
I've got to be in the mood to go see my former boss, don't like him (we were very close for many, many years but found him to be playing games with Steve and I plus he developed a relationship w/ Steve's Dad and told him things neither Steve or I were very happy about.) but I can go see him, just have to psych myself into it.
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Post by Wrapitup on Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:21 am

That sucks, Raine.

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Post by raine1953 on Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:25 am

Yup,it sucks but I can suck it up just enough to have to go by there 'to use the bathroom' (that was my excuse three or four years ago when I went there). I can play the game, just loathe playing games.
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Post by Wrapitup on Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:27 am

Could not agree more!!

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Post by raine1953 on Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:35 pm

Phillip Moreno
Obituary


Phillip M. Moreno
PHILLIP M. MORENO "Chud" was born in Torrance on October 01, 1981 and passed away on November 25, 2012. Phillip grew up and resided in the great community of Del Amo Blvd. He is preceded in death by his loving mother Estella Moreno and survived by his father Tony Moreno, brothers Tony, Daniel (Yolanda), Ruben (Heather) and Steven Moreno, sisters Sylvia and Yolanda (Marco), nephews Anthony, John and Matthew Salgado, Daniel Jr. and Adam Moreno, nieces Alyssa and Reina Moreno, Christina Salgado, numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends. A visitation will be held on Tuesday December 4, 2012 from 3:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. at Green Hills Mortuary and Memorial Chapel with a rosary service to follow at St. Margaret Mary Church in Torrance, CA. at 7:00 P.M. A funeral mass will be held at St. Margaret Mary Church on Wednesday December 5, 2012 at 10:00 A.M. with a burial Ceremony to follow.
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Normal Re: UPDATE: Substance Abuse Counselor Sherri Wilkins, Who Drove 2 Miles With Victim Phillip Moreno's Body Embeded In Her Windshield, Has Been Found Guilty of 2nd Degree Murder

Post by NiteSpinR on Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:01 am

WARNING GRAPHIC PHOTO



To ask how she continued driving 2 plus miles down the road is one thing... after viewing the picture below you will also see that part of his body was actually inside the cab of the vehicle with her.





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Normal Re: UPDATE: Substance Abuse Counselor Sherri Wilkins, Who Drove 2 Miles With Victim Phillip Moreno's Body Embeded In Her Windshield, Has Been Found Guilty of 2nd Degree Murder

Post by raine1953 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:24 am

It sure was. That poor guy. I've been very drunk before and could NEVER imagine that my drunk mind would have allowed me to run with that poor man embedded in any part of that car. She should never see the light of day again.
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Normal Witnesses say woman accused in Torrance hit-and-run struggled with addiction

Post by raine1953 on Sun May 19, 2013 3:16 pm

A former patient of a drug and alcohol counselor accused of killing a Torrance man while driving drunk and traveling more than a mile with him impaled in her windshield described the woman in court Thursday as someone who struggled with addiction.

Marco Salgado, a Torrance city employee, one-time patient of Sherri Wilkins and brother-in-law of the victim, Phillip Moreno, testified during a preliminary hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court that Wilkins told him about her own substance abuse in a therapy session weeks before the Nov. 24 hit-and run.

"She told us that if she ever drank again she would either land up in jail or kill someone," Salgado said. "She said she was sober for four years and she had a prior accident and that was her wake-up call. "

Salgado alleged in court Thursday that 52-year-old Wilkins told him about her prescription and illegal street drug use when both were at Twin Town Treatment Center in Torrance. Wilkins was a substance abuse counselor; Salgado was a patient who struggles with alcoholism.

"She said she used heroin at one time and something called bars," the street name for Xanax, Salgado testified.

In an odd twist, Salgado rerouted traffic near the scene of the collision while Torrance police officers gathered evidence.

Wilkins is charged with murdering Moreno. Prosecutors allege she barreled into him as Moreno crossed the street at the corner of Torrance Boulevard and Madrid Avenue. Wilkins was eventually cut off by other motorists at the corner of Crenshaw Boulevard and 182nd Street. She is alleged to have been drunk at the time of the her arrest.
"I smelled the odor of an alcoholic beverage. I also noted she had bloodshot eyes," Torrance police Officer Scott Norris testified.

Norris administered a blood-alcohol test, which proved that she was legally drunk at the time, he said.

Salgado and Norris' testimony came during the first day of a preliminary hearing in the case against Wilkins, who was handcuffed to a wheelchair Thursday. The hearing will resume Tuesday. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor will decide whether Wilkins will stand trial.

At the time of her arrest, Wilkins was described by police and witnesses at the scene as panicked.

Stephanie Hicks, who was in the car that forced Wilkins to stop, testified that Wilkins was "shocked and repeating, 'I am in trouble, I am in trouble,' " after she stopped driving with Moreno lodged in the windshield.

"She said she was taking him to the hospital, that he jumped in front of her car and that she was in trouble," Hicks said.

Hicks and her friends cut off Wilkins and forced her to stop driving. They tried to assist Moreno, but he was in bad condition, Hicks said.

"He really couldn't talk that much; he was bloody. He had his shirt on; he was not wearing pants or shoes," she said.

Wilkins, who worked in the 4200 block of Torrance Boulevard, was stopped a mile from her house.

Moreno, 31, would later die from his injuries.

Wilkins' 2012 arrest was not her first run-in with the law. She has been convicted of burglary twice. If convicted of murder, she could face life in prison.

In 2010, Wilkins was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, being under the influence of a controlled substance and hit-and-run. She allegedly hit a power pole at 182nd Street and Hawthorne Boulevard and dragged the pole into the road, where it struck other cars, according to Torrance city officials.

But prosecutors dropped the case when Wilkins' blood-alcohol level came back at zero and the level of drugs in her system was too low to prove she was impaired.
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Normal Torrance drug and alcohol counselor to stand trial for 2012 hit-and-run murder

Post by raine1953 on Fri May 24, 2013 2:07 am

05/21/2013 07:45:42 PM PDT

The drug and alcohol counselor from Torrance who allegedly ran down a man down in her car and then drove more than two miles with him impaled in her windshield was ordered Tuesday to stand trial for murder.

At the conclusion of a preliminary hearing, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor decided the prosecution had produced enough evidence to warrant trial for Sherri Wilkins.

"Based on the totality of the circumstances, the scene, the statements made by the defendant at an earlier time and her actions after the fact, there is sufficient evidence to hold the defendant to answer," Pastor said.

Wilkins is scheduled to be arraigned June 4 in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Prosecutors allege Wilkins barreled into Phillip Moreno as he crossed the street at Torrance Boulevard and Madrid Avenue in Torrance on Nov. 24, 2012. She then drove more than two miles with the man stuck in her windshield. Wilkins eventually was cut off by other motorists at Crenshaw Boulevard and 182nd Street.

Wilkins was driving to her Torrance home when she was stopped, prosecutors said.

Moreno later died from his injuries.

At the time of her arrest, officers smelled alcohol on Wilkins breath; she failed a Breathalyzer test and witnesses described her as "panicked. "

Deputy Public Defender Nan Whitfield argued that the murder charge against her client was improper because Wilkins "has no prior DUI conviction." She also scoffed at the prosecution theory that Wilkins was driving home and planned to "dump" Moreno's body.
Deputy District Attorney John Harlan said a prior conviction for DUI was not necessary to prosecute Wilkins for murder, and that Wilkins - as a drug and alcohol counselor at the Twin Town Treatment Center in Torrance - was well aware of the danger she posed the community when she drove drunk.

"It appears from her own career that she knows the dangers of drinking," Harlan said.

Prosecutors also referenced Wilkins' 2010 arrest for drunken driving as proof that she was aware of the dangers of driving impaired.

In 2010, Torrance police arrested Wilkins on suspicion of drunken driving. She had hit a utility pole and dragged it into the street, where it struck several cars. The criminal charges were dropped due to a lack of evidence; the damage done to the other vehicles was settled in civil court.

During earlier preliminary hearing testimony Thursday, a former patient of Wilkins testified that the substance abuse counselor told him that "if she ever drank again she would either land in jail or kill someone. "

The only testimony at Tuesday's court session came from Torrance police Detective Joseph Gietzen, who described the intersection where Wilkins allegedly struck Moreno.

"There was a shoe in the roadway, a pair of pants in the roadway and a second shoe on a lawn at Torrance and Madrid (avenues)," Gietzen said.

The officer testified that it's "common" for clothes to be knocked off a pedestrian struck by a car.
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Normal UPDATE: Sherri Lynn Wilkins Found Guilty Of Second-Degree Murder For The Death Of Phillip Moreno

Post by NiteSpinR on Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:17 am

February 5, 2014

A substance-abuse counselor who drove 2 miles through a Los Angeles suburb with a dying man on her windshield was convicted Tuesday of second-degree murder, drunken driving and hit-and-run.

Sherri Lynn Wilkins showed no response as the Superior Court jury returned with its verdict.

Wilkins' blood-alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit for driving when she struck 31-year-old Phillip Moreno in November 2012 in suburban Torrance, prosecutors said.

"The way she treated Phillip Moreno struck at human dignity," Deputy District Attorney John Harlan, the lead prosecutor, said after the verdict. "This case has been about human dignity. We do not tolerate someone who does not pull over when they see someone on their windshield."

A large contingent of Moreno's relatives, including brothers and sisters, were present for the verdict. Outside court, they embraced Harlan and co-prosecutor Saman Ahmadpour but declined to speak to reporters.

Wilkins, 52, 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 single-serving bottles of vodka and a can of Budweiser beer and Clamato before starting to drive.

Her lawyer, Nan Whitfield, was unreachable for comment. She had argued that Moreno was drunk and jumped on Wilkins' car and that she panicked.

Wilkins testified that she never saw him coming and it is was as if he fell out of the sky.

Harlan said during the trial that the force of the crash punched a hole in the passenger side of Wilkins' window, and Moreno lost his shoes and pants, but still she didn't stop to render aid or call 911.

It wasn't until passing motorists noticed the bizarre scene that they were able to swarm Wilkins' car at a traffic light and keep her there until police arrived.

Wilkins faces a maximum sentence of 45 years to life. Jurors found to be true the allegation that she has a record of two previous serious felonies, making her subject to the California three-strikes law.

Superior Court Judge Henry Hall set Wilkins' sentencing for March 26.

She testified during the trial, telling jurors the story of her addiction, which began when she was in a car accident at the age of 15 and suffered a broken back and shattered bones in her ankles and legs. Wilkins said she started using heroin when it became "cheaper than going to the doctor."

Wilkins, who acknowledged having served time for residential burglaries over the years, said she kicked the heroin habit with the help of methadone and more recently had been using medical marijuana. She told of obtaining a degree in addiction counseling and going to work at a treatment center.

Wilkins was leaving the center on the night of the crash.


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Normal Re: UPDATE: Substance Abuse Counselor Sherri Wilkins, Who Drove 2 Miles With Victim Phillip Moreno's Body Embeded In Her Windshield, Has Been Found Guilty of 2nd Degree Murder

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:59 pm

Updated 

This case was very important to our Raine.

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