Report: Charges reduced for minivan in ocean case

By Associated Press
Published On: Apr 09 2014 10:41:16 AM EDT

Volusia County Corrections

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 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.

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