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Saturday 19 August 2017

Woman who drove with man's body on windscreen gets 25 years to life in jail

Sherri Wilkins in court in 2012 (Los Angeles Daily News/AP)
Sherri Wilkins in court in 2012 (Los Angeles Daily News/AP)
A pavement memorial for victim Phillip Moreno in Torrance, California (AP)

A substance abuse counsellor who struck a man with her car and drove two miles with his body embedded in her windscreen has been jailed for 25 years to life.

Sherri Wilkins had pleaded no contest to second-degree murder and two drink-driving counts.

Wilkins, 55, had been found guilty at a 2014 trial on similar charges but an appeal court threw out the conviction last year because her entire criminal history had been admitted at trial and could have prejudiced the jury.

She had received the stiffer sentence of 55 years to life before her appeal.

Prosecutors then refiled charges and Wilkins pleaded no contest.

In 2012, Wilkins was driving home through Torrance, California, when her car hit and killed Phillip Moreno, 31.

She drove more than two miles with his half-naked body embedded in the windscreen and his upper body face-down on the bonnet before other drivers confronted her at a traffic light, according to court records.

Wilkins told them Mr Moreno seemed to jump in front of the car.

She drank three shots of vodka and a beer in her car before driving but the defence argued there had not been enough time for her blood-alcohol level to exceed the legal limit.

Investigators said Wilkins' blood-alcohol level was about twice that limit one and a half hours after the crash.

AP

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