Treatment for mom accused of driving kids in ocean - FOX 35 News Orlando

Treatment for mom accused of driving kids in ocean

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

The high bond of $1.2 million will remain in place after the defense and state came to an agreement during a hearing for a pregnant South Carolina woman accused of driving her car into the ocean with her three children on board.

Ebony Wilkerson will be allowed to receive in-hospital psychiatric care until a doctor says she's fit to return to jail.

"The parties agreed that Ms. Wilkerson will remain housed at the Halifax Hospital Mental Health Unit, where she is currently receiving treatment," said Wilkerson's defense attorney, Jim Purdy. "The bond is irrelevant right now, it can be no bond, it can be $1.2 million, it can be a $1,000, but the problem right now is that she needs to be where she is. She knows it, everybody knows it, and we're just hoping she will get the treatment that she needs."

Purdy says her treatment began two weeks ago.  She's going to group therapy sessions and is allowed to exercise outside, while under supervision.

"She is receiving pre-natal care there also, and she is a high-risk pregnancy, so this is an important issue that she gets this medical treatment," Purdy said.

Wilkerson, who is seven months pregnant, is charged with attempted murder.  Earlier this month Daytona Police say she drove her minivan into the Atlantic Ocean with her 3 kids inside, all of them under the age of 10.

"She has mental issues and my niece needs help," said Wilkerson's Aunt Dollie Wilkerson. "She's been abused for a long time."

Now the judge will allow in-hospital psychiatric care until a doctor says it's ok for her to go back to jail.
Her family, on the other hand, is not happy with the high bond or jail time.

"My niece needs help right now, she don't need to be in jail. Jail is not the answer," said Dollie Wilkerson.

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