Report: Charges reduced for minivan in ocean case

CREATED Apr 9, 2014

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (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 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 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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Information from: Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal, http://www.news-journalonline.com