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Substance Abuse Counselor Arrested for Fatal DUI

California resident, Sherri Wilkins, 51 has recently been arrested for driving under the influence in an accident that killed another man. She is known in the community for running a sober living facility, and this accident has caused many to be shocked with the news they have heard. Wilkins was a certified counselor for drug and alcohol abuse in the Torrance area at a treatment center. Here she was highly involved as she led small groups for individuals struggling with substance abuse six nights a week. Wilkins shared that her past was laced with heavy drug and alcohol abuse, and because of the choices she made then, she had to pay terrible consequences. Her mission as a counselor was to show that the substance addiction could be overcome, because even with her past, she was now allegedly sober for 11 years.

According to The Los Angeles Times, Wilkins was driving down Torrance Boulevard when she hit a 31 year old man who was crossing the street, Philip Moreno. Apparently at the point of the crash, Wilkins proceeded to drive her car for another two miles, with Moreno on lodged on her windshield. Police report that the body of the young man was partially embedded into the front of the car because of the impact. After driving for 2.3 miles, the good samaritans on the road were able to have her stop the car, where they were then able to retrieve her keys until the police officers arrived on the scene.

By the time the ambulance arrived to the car, Moreno was still alive though his pulse just barely beating. They took him to the local hospital where he was soon pronounced dead. The police conducted their tests with Wilkins only to discover that her blood alcohol concentration levels were double the state’s legal limit of 0.08%. She was arrested for a DUI and her official charges include felony murder charges, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, drunk driving while causing injury, as well as leaving the scene of the accident because she drove away with the victim on her car.

While she continued to share with those in the treatment center that she was successfully sober for over a decade, her police reports state very differently. Police reports show that in 2010, Sherri Wilkins was arrested for driving under the influence of a controlled substance as well as a hit and run charge. It states that as she was driving in the same area of her more recent accident and then she ran into a power pole. After hitting the pole, she continued to drive her car down the road, dragging it behind her, damaging multiple cars in the process.

Sherri was never actually convicted for these crimes, however. After going to trial the case was eventually dropped by the judge due to insufficient evidence. Her blood levels were tested, and they came back at zero and the screening showed that the drugs in her system were not enough to intoxicate her. As a result, the prosecution was unable to find any way to prove that Wilkins was under the influence of something, and therefore the case was dismissed. The other drivers whose cars were damaged agreed to a civil compromise with Wilkins, instead of filing charges against her.

Today, Sherri Wilkins remains in jail with a $2.25 million bail. This offense is considered to be her third strike with the law, as she has had two previous burglary convictions in the past. Reports claim that if Sherri is convicted with the murder charges, that she could be looking at spending the rest of her life in prison for the crime.

Sherri Wilkins is one of many people that have been arrested for driving under the influence. And while we may not know the specific details of her situation, it is safe to say that she made a mistake that may affect the rest of her life. Driving under the influence is a very serious criminal offense, especially when the life of another individual is taken as a result. Sadly, a woman who is likely to have been sober for years may have to pay for that mistake for life. Reports do not share information on her past two strikes with the law; though it is possible they occurred during her time when she was heavily involved with drugs and alcohol. In order to fight the charges piling up against her she will need a strong defense attorney on her side.

Have you been recently arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol? If so, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced and aggressive Houston DWI attorney to fight for you! Depending on the charges placed against you, you could be facing severe penalties for your crime if convicted. At The Samuelson Law Firm we are dedicated to helping those in the Houston area, ready to challenge any and all DWI charges placed against you. Whether you are a first offense DWI, or you are like Sherri Wilkins who is being charged with murder, our firm is prepared to help you. The fear of being convicted may be overwhelming, which is why hiring a professional legal representative is an essential part of your defense. Time is of the essence when accused of a DWI, so don’t wait another moment to call our office or to fill out a free online case evaluation!

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