Charges reduced for U.S. woman who drove kids into ocean surf: report
A lifeguard carries one of the three children rescued from a minivan that their mother, Ebony Wilkerson, drove into the Atlantic in Daytona Beach, Fla. in this March 4, 2014 image made from video. (AP / Simon Besner)
The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, April 9, 2014 7:38AM EDT
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- 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 on three counts each 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 that he plans to enter not guilty pleas at Wilkerson's arraignment Thursday. He says he believes the 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.