STEVENS POINT — A 29-year-old woman who was driving drunk with a 9-year-old passenger when she struck and killed a motorcycle driver was sentenced Friday to 15 years in prison on charges of homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle and two additional charges.
Billie Jo McSherry of Tigerton was convicted April 3 in Portage County Circuit Court when she pleaded guilty to the homicide charge along with charges of injury by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle and OWI causing injury to a passenger younger than 16. All other charges were dismissed.
A judge also ordered McSherry to spend an additional 10 years on supervision after her release from prison. She was given 363 days credit for time spent in jail as the case wound through the court system.
McSherry was taken to Ministry Saint Michael’s Hospital in Stevens Point after the crash and told a deputy, “I take full responsibility for my actions, it was my fault, take me to jail,” according to court filings.
Blood test results showed McSherry had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.3 percent, more than three times the 0.08 percent legal limit for driving in Wisconsin.
McSherry, who has two prior OWI convictions and a long list of traffic citations on her driving record, was arrested in early July 2017 after she crossed the center line of Hwy. 49 in the town of Alban, crashing head-on into a motorcycle driven by 48-year-old Robert Korhonen of Antigo.
Korhonen died in the crash, while a passenger on the motorcycle, 25-year-old Stacey Zarda, was critically injured, police said.
McSherry, along with her and her 9-year-old passenger, were treated for non-life threatening injuries.