Family seeks justice in substance abuse counselor’s fatal DUI case
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The friends and family of a man killed by a suspected drunk driver who continued on with the body on the windshield for two miles before stopping held a candlelight vigil Tuesday night and said they hope to see justice served.
Police said Sherri Wilkins’ car hit Phillip Moreno, 31, as he tried to cross Torrance Boulevard on Saturday night and kept driving more than two miles with the man embedded in her car’s windshield. Other motorists managed to stop her at 182nd Street and Crenshaw Boulevard and grab her keys, Torrance police Sgt. Robert Watt said.
Wilkins, 51, appeared in court Tuesday but postponed her arraignment until next month on felony charges of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, drunk driving while causing injury and leaving the scene of an accident, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
Wilkins, a substance abuse counselor, has struggled with addiction over the years and has two previous criminal convictions. She faces life in prison if convicted on the new charges.
‘You don’t drive two miles with a body on your car. There’s just no way. Who does that? Really? Who does that?’ friend Jason Garibay told KTLA.
At a news conference Tuesday, Moreno’s brother Ruben described seeing Wilkins in court.
‘I was just sick to my stomach,’ Ruben Moreno said.
The family’s attorney Kevin Danesh said Moreno’s loved ones want to make sure he did not die in vain.
‘The family is here to make sure justice is being served ... that anyone who would dare to drink and drive, let this be a lesson to them,’ Danesh said.
Wilkins remains in custody.
-- Kate Mather and Kimi Yoshino