Attempted murder charges were dropped by Florida prosecutors Tuesday against Ebony Wilkerson, the mother who drove a minivan carrying her three young children into the ocean in March.
The prosecution and defense agreed that 32-year-old Wilkerson was temporarily insane at the time of the incident, in which she drove her kids – who were 3, 9 and 10 at the time – into the ocean in Daytona Beach, according to NBC affiliate WFLA, in Orlando.
Bystanders, lifeguards and officers helped pull Wilkerson and her children from their submerged minivan last spring.
Although Wilkerson denied trying to hurt her children, telling investigators she was driving too close to the ocean “and the waves pulled her in,” her children – as well as surveillance video – told investigators another story.
“Mom tried to kill us,” they told detectives, according to the charging document. “Mom is crazy.”
The windows were rolled up and the doors were locked, and one of the children tried to wrestle the steering wheel away from Wilkerson, Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson said in March.
“She told them to close their eyes and go to sleep. She was trying to take them to a better place,” Johnson stated at the time.
Wilkerson will plead not guilty by reason of insanity to two counts of child abuse.