A convicted drunken driver who killed a 43-year-old woman in a driving under the influence wreck in French Valley was sentenced Friday to 20 years to life in state prison.

Joshua Asimovic Morris, 36, of Temecula pleaded guilty in May to second-degree murder, DUI gross vehicular manslaughter, DUI resulting in great bodily injury and sentence-enhancing allegations of fleeing the scene of a fatal crash and being a repeat DUI offender.

The plea was directly to Riverside County Superior Court Judge John Davis, without input or objection from the District Attorney’s Office.

No charges were dismissed under the plea, which Davis certified during the sentencing hearing Friday morning at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.

Morris killed Amy Litteral of Winchester on the afternoon of May 22, 2020.

According to the California Highway Patrol, about 4 p.m. that day, Morris was driving south on Winchester Road in excess of the speed limit in his 2020 Kia Optima when he entered the left-turn lane for Thompson Road and did not slow when he came upon Litteral’s 2017 Ford Fusion directly in front of him, in the same lane.

Officer Mike Lassig said that Morris impacted the rear of the Ford, pushing the sedan “into the intersection, where it collided into a 2016 Toyota Corolla, which was turning eastbound to northbound Winchester from Max Gillis Road.”

Morris tried to run away but didn’t get very far, according to the CHP.

Paramedics reached the scene within a few minutes and found Litteral in grave condition. She was taken to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar, where she died a half-hour later, according to Lassig.

The 39-year-old woman riding with Morris suffered minor injuries, for which she received treatment at Inland Valley, Lassig said. She has since recovered.

The defendant was not injured, nor was the 23-year-old woman driving the Toyota.

Morris was on probation at the time for a 2017 misdemeanor DUI conviction, according to court records. Under California law, a convicted DUI offender aware of the risks of drinking and driving who causes someone’s death because of it can be charged with murder.

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