California Drug Counselor Given 55 Years To Life For Hitting Pedestrian and Then Driving Away With Him Dying on Windshield

Screen-Shot-2014-01-16-at-10.52.11-AM-e1389887786227A substance-abuse counselor, Sherri Lynn Wilkins, 53, has been sentenced to 55 years to life in prison for second-degree murder after hitting and killing 31-year-old Phillip Moreno in November 2012 — and then driving away with him dying on her windshield.

Wilkins was found with a blood-alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit at the time of the accident in Torrence, California. Her defense was curious in that she insisted that she was not drunk but merely “self-medicating” while waiting for knee-replacement surgery. She had consumed three single-serving bottles of vodka and a can of Budweiser beer and Clamato before starting to drive. That would put anyone into a drunken state.

The sentence is quite long for this type of accident which is usually charged as vehicular manslaughter. However, Superior Court Judge Henry Hall said, “Ms. Wilkins demonstrated an extraordinary callousness in fleeing the scene and trying to shake Mr. Moreno’s body off her car. This is a callous murder, not an unfortunate act.” The sentencing is particularly interesting because it was set under the state’s three strikes law. Wilkins has a long history of drug abuse and arrests. Hall used that record to triple the 15 years to life sentence.

The fact that the prior crimes were not crimes of violence makes the case somewhat novel but not unique. Hall acknowledged that and that “She’s not a classic violent criminal. But you have to evaluate her history. She had an insatiable desire to become intoxicated.”

Many courts would have viewed the 15 to life sentence as more than enough for such a crime. The use of the three strikes law could make for an interesting appeal but often sentencing is viewed as a discretionary function for the trial court. It is one of the longest sentences that I have seen in such a case.

Source: Freep

89 thoughts on “California Drug Counselor Given 55 Years To Life For Hitting Pedestrian and Then Driving Away With Him Dying on Windshield”

    1. anonymous and RTC – read the article. But the source data for the article has flaws. If trolls are generally ‘anonymous’ how do you decide what the psychological makeup of the commenter is? And just what constitutes “trolling?” Just today, RTC accused me of being paid to participate here. Is that a personal attack according to Mike Spindell and if so does it constitute trolling? And if it is trolling, then is it not RTC who is the troll but is trying to deflect from himself by claiming others are trolls?

  1. Schulte has never presented an irrefutable argument; you only think he does because you agree with his ill-informed views.

    Chuck Stanley presented a pretty good definition of a troll recently when he said they are merely here to disrupt the exchange of ideas. There is a huge difference between shulte and someone like davidm or karen. I’m pretty sure schulte is paid for his participation here.

    At the blogsite “Flowers For Socrates”, blogger Mike Spindell wrote an outstanding article about internet trolls. If you want to participate in chatrooms like this (this is a chatroom, right?), then that post should be required reading. I suggest you check it out and have a gander at some of their other posts while you’re at it.

  2. John: “…(I)f 9 Justices of the SCOTUS applied the literal words of the Constitution objectively, without “interpretation” or inference and by DEFINITION….”


    Holy Smokes and they let you vote.

  3. Schulte, if 9 Justices of the SCOTUS applied the literal words of the Constitution objectively, without “interpretation” or inference and by DEFINITION, they would be compelled to reach UNANIMOUS decisions exclusively. Decisions that implement the clear English words of the Constitution that even young students can understand.

    If the SCOTUS were a medical team, they would arrive at the same diagnosis and treatment and cure the patient. The doctor who disagreed would kill the patient and be sued for malpractice. Dissenters to the efficacious cure would kill the patient and be sued for malpractice.

    All 9 Justices of the SCOTUS should be objective and comprehend the clear English words of the Constitution similarly. The Justices who dissent with the words of the Constitution have the wrong diagnosis and treatment and will kill the patient. The justices who dissent with the words of the Constitution should be “sued for malpractice.”

    Instead they are crowned by ideologues and ensconced for life – untouchable.


  4. 1:33 Excellent point. At least we know who is guilty at the IRS; everyone with a crashed computer.

  5. Randyjet, consider.

    9 Justices of the SCOTUS reach 9 different conclusions.

    If this were medicine, 9 different diagnoses and treatment protocols would constitute 8 actionable malpractice cases. Professionals should and must reach the same conclusions. Dissent is disingenuous, subjective and ideological, not objective factual assessment.

    Only lawyers could arbitrarily impose law that allowed 9 “professionals” to come up with 9 different results. Obviously, they crown themselves with the power to practice ideological subjectivity not objective fact. It is impossible for 9 Justices to read words of the English language 9 different ways. In the case of the SCOTUS, “decisions” shall be unanimous. They obviously ignore their constitutional duty and parameters. They “legislate from the bench” employing ideological “decisions” – a power they have granted unto themselves.

    Maybe someday we will see the SCOTUS and all practitioners of the law held to account for disingenuous and erroneous practice. Maybe someday there will be



    1. John – if lawyers and judges all agreed then there would only need to be lawyers.

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