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Driver with man on windshield says she panicked


LOS ANGELES >> A woman who drove 2 miles through a Los Angeles suburb with a dying man on her windshield says she can't remember hitting him.

Sherry Lynn Wilkins testified Wednesday that he seemed to fly onto her car in the 2012 incident in Torrance, but the events were a surreal blur.

Prosecutors say 31-year-old Phillip Moreno was struck so hard that he flipped onto Wilkins' car and punched a hole in the windshield.

"It was a flash, "Wilkins said. "I pretty much felt him landing on my window.  To me, it felt like he came from the sky."

Asked by her attorney how she felt in that moment, she said, "Very confused, like it wasn't real. It took me a while to figure out there was a body on the windshield."

"I didn't feel like I had hit him with my car," she said. "I felt like he fell into my windshield from up high."

Wilkins said she panicked and kept driving until other motorists told her to pull over.

"I was very scared," she said. "I kind of froze."

Wilkins, a former addict who became a drug and alcohol counselor, wept and said she'd been drinking that night but wasn't drunk. She said she had been "self-medicating" while waiting for knee-replacement surgery and had consumed three airplane-size bottles of vodka and a can of 

Budweiser beer and Clamato before starting to drive.  

Prosecutors say her blood-alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit.  

Under questioning by her lawyer, Nan Whitfield, the 52-year-old defendant told jurors her story of addiction, which began when she was in a car accident at the age of 15 and suffered a broken back and shattered bones in her ankles and legs. 

Wilkins said she became addicted to pain killers and then heroin. 

"When did you begin to use heroin?" asked Whitfield. 

"When it became cheaper than going to the doctor," she said.

Wilkins acknowledged having served time for residential burglaries over the years, said she kicked the heroin habit with the help of methadone and more recently had been using medical marijuana. 

She told of obtaining a degree in addiction counseling and going to work at a treatment center. 

"Were you happy in November of 2012?" asked Whitfield.

"For the first time I was," she whispered and began to cry.

Superior Court Judge Henry Hall cut off further exploration of her personal history. Wilkins is being brought to the courtroom in a wheel chair.

She was leaving the treatment center on the night of Nov. 24, 2012, when the crash occurred.

Wilkins has pleaded not guilty to murder, DUI and hit-and-run.

On cross-examination, Deputy District Attorney  John Harlan asked if Wilkins thought that night she should call her husband to pick her up since she had been drinking. 

"No," she said. "I wasn't drunk."

Asked what she was thinking, Wilkins said, "I was thinking I'd better hurry up and get home before the effects hit me."

Asked about her lack of response afterward, she said, "I was freaking out. It was not like I knew what was happening ... I still can't believe what happened."

Attorneys were scheduled to present final arguments Thursday.  

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RetiredWorking wrote:
Prosecutors say her blood-alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit. On cross-examination, Deputy District Attorney John Harlan asked if Wilkins thought that night she should call her husband to pick her up since she had been drinking. "No," she said. "I wasn't drunk." Asked about her lack of response afterward, she said, "I was freaking out. It was not like I knew what was happening . Totally in denial in court.
on January 29,2014 | 02:02PM
SueH wrote:
In denial?? Ya think??? Most alcoholics and drug addicts are. It's everyone ELSE that's drunk and addicted, certainly not THEM!
on January 29,2014 | 06:46PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
This reminds me of that lady at Kam Shopping Center who backed into a car that was waiting behind her. She screamed that she was not at fault and that the driver behind her was in the wrong for being behind her. And she continued her outrage for the whole time as people were trying to get out of the parking lot. She probably to this day believes that it was the driver behind her who was at fault for idling behind her. She was totally unaware that according to the driver's manual, one should look behind behind carefully before backing a vehicle out.
on January 29,2014 | 03:20PM
yhls wrote:
on January 29,2014 | 03:30PM
Surfer_Dude wrote:
Jury will deliberate for 5-10 minutes. And the verdict is...........?
on January 29,2014 | 05:11PM
SueH wrote:
She thought the guy fell out of the sky??? Nah, she wasn't drunk.
on January 29,2014 | 06:48PM
false wrote:
Use the windshield wiper.
on January 29,2014 | 09:10PM
Smiley7 wrote:
Stupid is as stupid does. Auwe!
on January 30,2014 | 03:32AM
Usagi336 wrote:
Interesting that she is being charged with hit and run when the victim was with her all the time. Should've drove him straight to the hospital then she could use that as an excuse too.
on January 30,2014 | 05:30AM
lokela wrote:
Driving 2 miles with a man stuck on her windshield and not stopping? She was in fairyland. Hurry home before the alcohol effects hit her? C'mon. Don't know about you guys but if I drank one beer I can feel the effects in 10 minutes. Then again there may be people with a couple of hollow legs.
on January 30,2014 | 05:35AM
sailfish1 wrote:
She didn't want to stop because the victim might then fall off the car and hurt himself.
on January 30,2014 | 08:06AM
nitpikker wrote:
her lawyer has taken on a "no win" case. he has to rely on sympathy from the jury. sympathy for a moron.
on January 30,2014 | 09:23AM
nitpikker wrote:
her lawyer has a hopeless case. trying to rely on a sympathetic jury. sympathy for a m*r*n.
on January 30,2014 | 09:33AM
Jonas wrote:
What a great story, and further proof that some people need to be locked away forever. I'm so tired of druggies blaming everything except themselves.
on January 30,2014 | 09:47AM
1R1E wrote:
not being able to remember in a drunken stupor may show that she infact was drunk. sad story she is portraying, but there needs to be justice for her inablility to choose between right and wrong. sorry bout it.
on January 30,2014 | 01:00PM
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