DETROIT -

Before he was sentenced, Willie Wimberly argued he wasn't the man he was made out to be during the trial centered around a dispute which ended with gunfire on a busy Detroit highway.

"I sat in the hot seat and listened to witnesses make me out to be a monster like I had no regard or respect for human life," he said.

Wimberly, 31, learned he will spend at least the next 40 years of his life in prison for a road rage shooting that sent a couple to the hospital. It happened during the early morning hours of New Year's Day in 2013 on Interstate 94 near Junction Street.

The mother of the female victim read a statement from her daughter in court recalling the horror of that night.

"When I close my eyes I can hear the gunshots and feel them hitting my body like it's happening all over again," she said.

The male victim, Brandon Charles, survived the shooting but was killed later that month in Ypsilanti, the night before he was scheduled to testify against Wimberly and another man in connection to the New Year's Day shooting.

Wimberly is facing charges in Charles' death.

Read back: Man charged with murder in slaying of shooting witness

The woman who was shot several times on the interstate wants Wimberly to know the damage he caused to her life.

"I suffered from 9 bullet wounds in my head, breast, legs, arm and back of my neck. My body will never be the same," her mother read in court.

Wimberly is set to be tried on murder charges this spring in Washtenaw County.