A North Charleston pregnant mother accused of trying to kill her children by driving her van into the ocean in Florida earlier this month will continue with her psychiatric treatment.
Ebony Wilkerson, 32, will receive in-hospital psychiatric care until a doctor approves her return to jail.
"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know she needs help," Wilkerson's aunt, Dollie Wilkerson told Orlando's WKMG-TV on Wednesday.
The decision to continue her mental health treatment was made by a judge in Volusia County, Fla., Wednesday during a 10-minute hearing. The hearing was a continuation of one that took place last week, but the judge wanted to hear more testimony.
Wilkerson, who is seven months pregnant, will also receive prenatal care and be allowed supervised exercise time. Her defense attorneys also agreed to withdraw a previous request to reduce her $1.2 million bail. They can refile the request at a later time.
Wilkerson is charged with three counts of attempted murder and three counts of child abuse after authorities said she intentionally drove her van into the ocean near Daytona Beach, Fla., on March 4 with her three children, ages 3, 9 and 10, strapped in their seats. Witnesses told investigators Wilkerson tried to ward off individuals trying to rescue the children after driving into the water.
Wilkerson has denied trying to harm her children, according to Volusia County sheriff's officials.
She had traveled to Florida from South Carolina and was staying with her sister at the time of the incident.
Days earlier, Wilkerson told Myrtle Beach and North Charleston police that her husband, Lutful Ronjon, 31, of North Charleston, had assaulted her in a Myrtle Beach hotel.
Following her arrest, Wilkerson was hospitalized for allegedly striking her belly, according to her attorneys.
During last week's hearing, public defender Jim Purdy told the judge Wilkerson was being held in solitary confinement under the watch of two correctional officers, and she was naked in the room, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.
On March 20, Wilkerson's sister, Jessica Harrell, 28, agreed to drop a temporary injunction against repeat violence she'd filed against Ronjon, according to the newspaper. The injunction had ordered Ronjon to stay away from Harrell, her house, her child's school and a residence where the family is staying, the newspaper reported.
Wilkerson's children were placed into protective custody after being treated for minor injuries following the incident at the beach, according to officials with the Florida's Department of Children and Families.
Reach Natalie Caula Hauff at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.
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