A substance abuse counselor accused of crashing into a pedestrian and driving for about two miles with the victim embedded in the vehicle's windshield pleaded not guilty Monday in connection with the man's death.
Sherri Lynn Wilkins, 51, was in court for her arraignment Monday. Her next scheduled court appearance is Jan. 24.
She is charged with murder in the death of Phillip Moreno, 31, of Torrance. Moreno was walking near Torrance Boulevard and Madrid Avenue at about 11:25 p.m. Nov. 24 when he was struck by a vehicle.
Witnesses stopped the driver near Crenshaw Boulevard and 182nd Street, police said. The victim, still lodged in the vehicle's windshield, was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Wilkins stopped about two miles south of the crash location (map), police said. Moreno's family described the witnesses as "angels" for attempting to help.
The Torrance woman was charged with murder, vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident and other charges.
Wilkins was charged in 2010 with DUI and leaving the scene of a crash that caused damage to either property or a vehicle, according to according to Los Angeles Superior Court records online. The charges were dismissed in 2011, records show.
She has two prior convictions for burglary, according to court records.
The CEO of Twin Town Treatment Center where Wilkins works, said she cleared a background check and received positive reviews from patients.