Drunk woman drove for two miles with man in windscreen

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Sherri Lynn Wilkins emotionalImage source, AP
Image caption,
Wilkins was sentenced to 25 years for the second-degree murder

A former substance abuse counsellor who drove while drunk for two miles (3.3km) with a pedestrian's body embedded in her windscreen has been jailed.

Sherri Lynn Wilkins, 55, pleaded no contest to the 2012 hit-and-run murder and was sentenced to 25 years by a California judge.

Wilkins only stopped when bystanders confronted her at a traffic light about the half-naked body on her bonnet.

The victim, 31-year-old Phillip Moreno, was pronounced dead in hospital.

"After the collision, [Wilkins] drove several miles with Moreno stuck on or in her windshield," a judge ruled earlier this month.

Image source, AP
Image caption,
A memorial for Phillip Moreno near his home in Torrance, California

"She did not stop. She did not call 911. Meanwhile, Moreno was in the process of bleeding to death on the hood of her car."

Prosecutors argued that Wilkins had failed to help Mr Moreno, and swerved her car to try to dislodge his body from her vehicle.

Wilkins admitted to drinking three shots of vodka and one beer inside her car before driving home that night through Torrance, in the greater Los Angeles area.

During her trial Wilkins claimed that Mr Moreno had seemed to jump in front of her car.

The victim's family have sued the rehabilitation centre that employed Wilkins, claiming that she had been obviously intoxicated while leading therapy sessions.

In a written statement the Twin Town Treatment Center said that the company "had no cause to intrude or challenge her recovery".

Chief executive David Lisonbee wrote that Wilkins had not been working on the day of the crash, and had not told company management she had been relapsing.

Police said that her blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit at the time of her arrest.