Ebony Wilkerson listens during a bond hearing in Daytona Beach, Fla., Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Wilkerson, 32, the pregnant South Carolina woman charged with attempted murder after she drove her car into the ocean with her three children inside, will be allowed to receive in-hospital psychiatric care until a doctor says she’s fit to return to jail, according to an agreement announced Tuesday. (AP Photo/The Daytona Beach News-Journal, Peter Bauer, Pool)
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Prosecutors in Daytona Beach say they’ve filed attempted second-degree murder and child abuse charges against a pregnant South Carolina woman who drove a minivan carrying her three small children into the Atlantic surf.Volusia County Sheriff’s deputies initially arrested 32-year-old Ebony Wilkerson of North Charleston, S.C., on three counts of attempted first-degree murder and child abuse charges following the March 4 incident.The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports prosecutors wouldn’t say why charges were reduced.
Public Defender James Purdy said in a statement he plans to enter not guilty pleas at Wilkerson’s arraignment Thursday. He says he believes evidence will show Wilkerson never intended to harm the children – ages 3, 9 and 10 – or herself.
Beachgoers helped pull the screaming children and Wilkerson from the surf that day.