Judge: Minivan Mom Ebony Wilkerson Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity
NBC News - A judge ruled Friday that Ebony Wilkerson, the pregnant mom accused of trying to murder her three children by driving the family's packed minivan into the Florida surf, is not guilty by reason of insanity.
Wilkerson and her defense team agreed to the plea deal with prosecutors, who also decided to drop three counts of second-degree attempted murder against her, NBC affiliate WESH reported. Wilkerson waived her right to a jury trial.
A Volusia County court judge made her decision after reviewing doctors' reports. A defense psychologist said Wilkerson suffered a psychotic break in March when she locked her minivan's doors and attempted to plunge the car into the Atlantic Ocean in Daytona Beach. Bystanders stopped her in time, and helped to rescue her children — ages 3, 9 and 10.
Days earlier, Wilkerson told police in her hometown of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina,that her husband raped her in a hotel room. She fled to Florida, where her sister called 911 and said Wilkerson was having a breakdown. Wilkerson was 28 weeks pregnant when she was arrested and gave birth to a baby boy in jail.
She was allowed released on bond in May on the condition that she can't see her children, and has been receiving outpatient treatment. The judge must still decide whether she should be hospitalized or if she can get community release with oversight by the court.
Sunday, January 21 2018 12:50 AM EST2018-01-21 05:50:24 GMT
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