• Report: Charges reduced for minivan in ocean case

    Updated:
    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP)

    ong> - (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 on three counts each of 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.


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