Charges Reduced for Minivan Mom in Ocean Case

Charges reduced from attempted first-degree murder to attempted second-degree murder

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.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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