UPDATE: Treatment For S.C. Mom Accused Of Driving Kids In Ocean - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

UPDATE: Treatment For S.C. Mom Accused Of Driving Kids In Ocean

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A pregnant South Carolina woman accused of driving her car into the ocean with her three children on board will be allowed to receive in-hospital psychiatric care until a doctor says she's fit to return to jail.

Attorneys for both sides announced the agreement during a 10-minute hearing on 32-year-old Ebony Wilkerson's bond Tuesday in Daytona Beach. It was a continuation of a hearing that began last week. Judge Leah Case wanted to hear more testimony before making a decision.

Wilkerson's defense attorneys also agreed to withdraw a request to reduce her $1.2 million bond on six felony charges - including attempted murder. They can refile it later.

Wilkerson will also receive prenatal care and be allowed supervised exercise time.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


(CNN)- The woman accused of trying to kill her three kids by driving a minivan into the ocean appeared in court Monday for a bond hearing.

Ebony Wilkerson didn't say a word during the 30 minute hearing, though she periodically shook her head when testimony about her circumstances, the allegations that she tried to kill her children on Daytona Beach March 4th, came up.

Defender Jim Purdy asked the court to temporarily release Wilkerson from the $1.2 million bond and instead order her admitted to Halifax's Psych Unit for an extended stay and under supervision.

State Attorney R.J. Larizza objected, saying there's no legal precedent for that so the public defender will research it, and come back next week. However it has been said that the pregnant mother is in the psych unit right now. Officials say she allegedly was beating herself on the stomach and she's 7 months pregnant and that prompted the jail to contact Halifax and get her over for an evaluation. However, Public Defender Purdy and his staff say Wilkerson, while at the hospital, is being held alone, in solitary confinement in a cell like room, for security reasons.


(AP)- A Florida judge has issued a temporary injunction ordering the husband of the woman accused of trying to kill her three children by driving into the ocean to stay away from some family members.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that a circuit judge issued the injunction Monday against Lutful Ronjon, husband of Ebony Wilkerson of North Charleston, S.C.

In court documents, Wilkerson's sister Jessica Harrell says Ronjon threatened to kill her and her sister if she tried to help the woman escape his abuse.

Records show the injunction against Ronjon is in effect until March 20, when a hearing is scheduled.

The injunction orders Ronjon to stay away from Harrell, her house, her child's school and a residence where the family is staying.

Wilkerson is in jail in Florida on attempted murder and other charges.



(NBC NEWS)-The woman who drove her minivan into the Atlantic Ocean with three children inside has been charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder, authorities in Florida said Friday.

The woman, Ebony Wilkerson, was also charged with three counts of aggravated child abuse, Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson said.

The three children were saved by rescuers who charged into the water on Tuesday afternoon at Daytona Beach.

Johnson said that an investigation had found that the woman tried to stop the rescuers from helping the children, and that her son was at one time trying to fight her for the steering wheel.

"She did intentionally try to kill the children," he told reporters.

He said that Wilkerson told the children during the episode to "close their eyes and go to sleep, she was taking them to a better place."



DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A mother behind the wheel of a minivan that was driven with her three children into the surf off Daytona Beach, Fla., is undergoing a mental evaluation.

The Volusia County Sheriff's Office also said Wednesday that the children were turned over to the care of the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Bystanders and officers helped pull the mother and her children - ages 3, 9 and 10 - from their minivan after it became nearly submerged in the Atlantic surf Tuesday afternoon.

Beach safety officers say pregnant Ebony Wilkerson, 32, identified by NBC News, was driving the minivan with a South Carolina tag recklessly southbound on the beach when it suddenly turned eastward into the ocean.

One rescuer, a beach goer from North Carolina, spoke to NBC News Wednesday. He recalled desperate screams from one of the young boys. "He said please help us. My mom is trying to kill us. And when he said that I lost all feeling. All I could think about is we are getting the kids out no matter what," said Tim Tesseneer. A witness captured video footage of the rescue.

NBC reports that the mother wandered back to shore without speaking to anyone. She and her kids were taken to a hospital for treatment. 

Daytona Police also told NBC News that officers stopped by Wilkerson's home two hours before the incident after a call from concerned family members who reported her having possible mental issues. However, officers could not find a reason to take her into custody.




(NBC NEWS)- On Tuesday, a pregnant mother of 3 drove her minivan into the ocean in Daytona Beach, Florida, with her 3 kids inside the car.

Rescuers tell NBC News that two of 32-year-old Ebony Wilkerson's children, ages 9 and 10, say that their mother's actions were intentional.

Investigators say Wilkerson is from Cross, South Carolina.

Daytona Beach Police also tell NBC News that they did interview Wilkerson a few hours before the incident, but said they were unable to hold her because she didn't meet the criteria.


(NBC NEWS)- A pregnant woman has been hospitalized after she tried to drive her minivan into the ocean on Tuesday afternoon.

The happened in Daytona Beach, Florida. Witnesses say the woman, along with her 3, 9 and 10 year-old were rescued by people on the beach. One witness says one of the children was screaming that their mom was trying to kill them.

Investigators say it is possible that the woman had a medical emergency causing her to lose control of the vehicle and end up in the water.

The woman, who isn't talking to investigators is currently undergoing a mental evaluation. They say the children will likely be turned over to a relative in Orlando.


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