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Mother going residence 5 years after driving van with children into ocean in Daytona Seaside

A South Carolina woman who drove her minivan with her children inside into the Atlantic Ocean in Daytona Beach five years ago has been allowed to return home to her family.Volusia County Circuit Judge Raul Zambrano on Thursday allowed 38-year-old Ebony Wilkerson to leave Daytona Beach, where she’d been in jail or transitional care since March 4, 2014. The family lives in Myrtle Beach. In December of 2014, Wilkerson agreed to plead not guilty by reason of insanity as part of a deal with prosecutors, who also decided to drop three counts of second-degree attempted murder against her. After time in a state hospital, Wilkerson was released to a live-in step-down program in Lake Wales. She was committed back to the state hospital in 2016, but was eventually stepped back down into a structured facility. Assistant Public Defender Jay Crocker said that upon her release, Wilkerson will still be on medication and will see a mental health counselor in South Carolina. He says she’s happy to return to her family. Authorities say Wilkerson was pregnant when she drove the minivan into the ocean, where rescuers grabbed three screaming children as waves rocked the vehicle.

A South Carolina woman who drove her minivan with her children inside into the Atlantic Ocean in Daytona Beach five years ago has been allowed to return home to her family.

Volusia County Circuit Judge Raul Zambrano on Thursday allowed 38-year-old Ebony Wilkerson to leave Daytona Beach, where she’d been in jail or transitional care since March 4, 2014. The family lives in Myrtle Beach.

In December of 2014, Wilkerson agreed to plead not guilty by reason of insanity as part of a deal with prosecutors, who also decided to drop three counts of second-degree attempted murder against her.

After time in a state hospital, Wilkerson was released to a live-in step-down program in Lake Wales. She was committed back to the state hospital in 2016, but was eventually stepped back down into a structured facility.

Assistant Public Defender Jay Crocker said that upon her release, Wilkerson will still be on medication and will see a mental health counselor in South Carolina. He says she’s happy to return to her family.

Authorities say Wilkerson was pregnant when she drove the minivan into the ocean, where rescuers grabbed three screaming children as waves rocked the vehicle.


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