Mom who drove van into Daytona Beach ocean to plead insanity

Published On: May 05 2014 06:13:12 AM EDT   Updated On: May 05 2014 03:10:58 PM EDT

A pregnant South Carolina woman accused of driving her car into the ocean with her three children on board will be allowed to receive in-hospital psychiatric care until a doctor says she's fit to return to jail.


The attorney for the woman who drove her minivan into the Atlantic Ocean off Daytona Beach with her children inside filed a notice that they will plead an insanity defense.

Ebony Wilkerson remains in the hospital as she faces three counts of attempted second-degree murder and child abuse following the March incident.

Wilkerson's public defender James Purdy said on Friday they filed the notice to rely on a defense of insanity. The state experts will then examine Wilkerson.

Purdy said he is also seeking original video of Wilkerson driving her van into the ocean.

Purdy says Wilkerson, who is eight months pregnant, was hospitalized after hitting herself in the stomach.

Purdy says he wants the "original" video of the ocean incident, taken by a man who was watching from the beach.

David Smith, of the state attorney's office, says he'd be happy to share all the videos he has but questions the meaning of "original" video in the age of ubiquitous cellphone footage.


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