DUII driver who killed nurse granted a new trial, turns it down - KPTV - FOX 12

DUII driver who killed nurse granted a new trial, but turns it down

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Sam Wilson in court Thursday Sam Wilson in court Thursday
Elizabeth Sherman Elizabeth Sherman
Sam Wilson, 2007 booking photo Sam Wilson, 2007 booking photo

A man convicted of driving drunk and killing a Portland nurse won an appeal for a new trial, but Sam Wilson said he didn't want to put the victim's family through that.

Wilson was convicted by a jury in 2008 on charges including first-degree manslaughter and DUII. He was 19 at the time.

He ran a stop sign on Northwest Cornell Road the previous April, hitting Elizabeth Sherman's car. The 61-year-old nurse at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center was killed.

Investigators said a day before the crash, Wilson had his license suspended and entered a diversion program after pleading guilty in a separate DUII case.

On Thursday, Wilson faced a judge and went against his attorney's advice and turned down going through another trial. Instead, he again pleaded guilty to manslaughter and DUII.

His attorney said the appeal was his idea. It was granted by the Oregon Supreme Court because Wilson's original request for a non-jury trial was denied.

However, Wilson told the judge Thursday that it would be selfish of him to seek a reduced sentence.

"In July, I lost my father and it hit me like, all of a sudden, I understood the loss that I caused," he said. "I'm just so sorry."

Sherman's family was in the courtroom and expressed hope that Wilson can help others.

"It shows that he is very serious about what he did that day and that he won't spend a day not thinking about what he did, and trying to do what he can to make it not happen again," said Julie Shewchuck, Sherman's daughter.

Shewchuck asked Wilson if he would join her in working with Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Wilson said that's is something he would like to do, once he's released from prison.

He has served more than six years of his 10 year sentence.

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