Murder Conviction Overturned in Car Crash Case

Broken glass by the car

When someone is convicted of any crime, they have the right to appeal the conviction. This is a part of the judicial process. Even such crimes as DUI can be appealed or overturned, but that doesn’t necessarily free them from the chances of being re-convicted.

On Friday, February 19th, state appellate courts overturned the murder and DUI convictions of a former substance abuse counselor. She had previously been convicted after striking a man in Torrence and driving two miles while he was embedded in her windshield.

A panel consisting of 3 justices from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeals ruled that a “prejudicial error” was committed by allowing Sherri Lynn Wilkin’s previous criminal history to be admitted into evidence. This required a reversal of her February 2014 convictions.

Wilkins is serving a sentence of 55-years to life for the incident that killed 31-year-old Phillip Moreno on November 24, 2012. Wilkens struck Moreno shortly after leaving the clinic she worked at where she had been drinking in the parking lot. She then drove nearly two miles before horrified bystanders surrounded the car to stop her.

The justices noted that the admission of her previous crimes “added to the picture a suggestion that (Wilkins) had a history of unpunished crimes, a propensity for crime, and it counteracted her attempts to portray herself as having turned her life around until the charged crime.’’

The hit-and-run conviction was allowed to stand. Additionally, the judges will allow the prosecution to retry Wilkins on the 2nd degree murder charge and the charges of driving under the influence causing injury and driving with a 0.08 blood alcohol content causing injury.

If you have been charged with a DUI, you will want an attorney experienced with criminal DUI proceedings. All of our attorneys are familiar with DUI charges and the proceedings surrounding them. Contact us today.

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