Mom attempted to kill her 3 kids

2014-03-08 22:31

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Orlando - A pregnant South Carolina woman pointed to the ocean, locked the doors of her minivan and rolled up the windows, telling her three children she was "trying to take them to a better place" as she drove her vehicle into the surf, authorities said.

Ebony Wilkerson even tried to call off bystanders hustling to rescue her screaming children from the water, saying "everyone was okay" as she left the van in the ocean, an affidavit said. Wilkerson, 32, is charged with three counts of attempted murder and three counts child abuse causing great bodily harm.

Volusia County Court Judge Shirley Green found probable cause for the charges during Wilkerson's first appearance in court on Saturday and set her bond at $1.2m. A date for an arraignment was not released.

The bystanders and beach safety officers, paying no attention to the mother, pulled the two girls and a boy, ages 3, 9 and 10, through the windows to safety on Tuesday on Daytona Beach.

Later, Wilkerson denied trying to hurt her children, telling investigators she was driving too close to the water, "and the waves pulled her in", according to the charging affidavit.

Domestic violence

Her children told investigators another story.

"Mom tried to kill us," they told detectives, according to the document. "Mom is crazy."

Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson said Wilkerson, of North Charleston, was in the custody of the sheriff's office after being hospitalised for a mental evaluation.

The children told authorities they had come to Florida from South Carolina earlier in the week to escape their father. They described a history of violence between their parents, and they said their mother had been "acting crazy and speaking to Jesus" since they had come to stay with Wilkerson's sister in Daytona Beach.

The sister, Jessica Harrell, didn't return a phone call from The Associated Press, but she was worried about Wilkerson's mental health and called a police emergency dispatcher hours before the minivan ended up in the ocean.

When she was driving into the ocean, one of the children asked her what she was doing, and she said: "'I am keeping us all safe,'" according to the affidavit. The boy tried to wrestle the steering wheel away from Wilkerson.

"She told them to close their eyes and go to sleep. She was trying to take them to a better place," Johnson said at a news conference.

'Possessed'

A child also lowered the windows and the siblings yelled for help, attracting the bystanders.

"I've got to do this," Wilkerson told bystander Stacy Robinson as he attempted to intervene, according to the affidavit.

One of the rescuers, Tim Tesseneer, said Wilkerson's eyes were wide open and she looked "possessed". Wilkerson tried to prevent a beach safety officer from entering the vehicle to rescue the toddler who was the last to be removed from the minivan, Tesseneer told detectives. The children are with the Department of Children and Families.

Two days before what happened on the beach, Wilkerson told North Charleston police that she was in a violent fight with her husband of 14 years at a hotel room in Myrtle Beach and had gone to a hospital for treatment, according to an incident report.

She also told police that after she packed up the car and kids at their apartment, her husband made a motion as if he was going to grab her, but she got into the car before he could, the report said.

Myrtle Beach police say they are investigating what happened at the hotel but no charges were filed. Phone numbers for Wilkerson's husband were disconnected.

Her sister told the emergency dispatcher she had tried to take Wilkerson to a hospital the day before the minivan ended up in the surf but Wilkerson had checked herself out. She said Wilkerson had been abused by her husband and that police should check on her.

Fearful

Harrell told the dispatcher that Wilkerson was "talking about Jesus and how there are demons in my house".

Harrell said she had taken Wilkerson's car keys away but her sister had found another set and driven off with the children.

After the call to dispatch, Daytona Beach officers stopped Wilkerson's black Honda Odyssey and she expressed fear that her husband would be coming to Florida to harm her and her children.

The children were sitting quietly, smiling, and showed no signs of distress, the police report said.

"It was clear during my conversation that Wilkerson was suffering from some form of mental illness, but she was lucid," the Daytona Beach police officer said in the report.
- AP

Read more on:    us
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
11 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Paarden Eiland - 08:55 AM
    Road name: Marine Drive Southbound
    DELAYS between Sunset Beach and the N1 Highway Interchange
  • Friday Cape Town - 08:52 AM
    Road name: N2 Inbound
    STATIONARY VEHICLE at Hospital Bend - DELAYS from Bhunga Avenue
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Plant Engineer ( Hire Resolve )

Cape Town
Hire Resolve
R750 000 - R650 000 Per Year

Mobile Applications Developer – Cape Town

Cape Town
E-Merge IT Recruitment
R400 000 - R500 000 Per Year

Operations Manager

Cape Town CBD
Express Employment Services - Cape Town
R400 000 - R540 000 Per Year

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB

There are no straight lines in nature. The Samsung  GALAXY...

From R3795.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be putting too much effort into someone or something. You are doing it out of love and compassion but there is a chance...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.