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Minivan Mom Who Drove Kids into Ocean Gets Bail Reduced

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A Florida judge reduced the bond Thursday for the pregnant mom accused of driving her minivan into the Atlantic Ocean in an attempt to kill her three children.

But the Volusia County court judge — in cutting the amount to $90,000 from $1.2 million — also set a number of restrictions for Ebony Wilkerson. Among them, no contact with her children, including a baby boy she gave birth to two weeks ago.

Wilkerson spoke publicly during Thursday's hearing for the first time since her high-profile arrest March 4, when good Samaritans in Daytona Beach, Florida, rushed to save her and her children — ages 3, 9 and 10 — from the rough surf.

Wilkerson is charged with three counts of attempted second-degree murder and child abuse. She told the judge that she’s taking her psychiatric medication and is “back to my normal self.”

A psychiatrist also testified that she is no longer a danger to herself.

Wilkerson, who had been living in South Carolina, fled to Florida, she said, to escape an abusive husband. On the day she plunged her minivan into the surf, her sister called 911 to say Wilkerson was having a psychotic episode.

Wilkerson maintained Thursday that her husband, Lutful Ronjon, abused her and their children. She previously reported to Myrtle Beach police that he had raped her in a hotel room.

Wilkerson, however, told the court that all of the children should be with their father. Ronjon currently has custody of their newborn, but the older kids were placed into Florida foster care.

Ronjon, who testified before his wife, said he was willing to help her pay a portion of her bail.

Wilkerson's attorney disputed the reduced amount, saying $90,000 is still tantamount to no bond.

If she posts the money, she can't leave Volusia County and must also submit to blood and urine tests to show that she's still taking her medication, the judge said.

— Erik Ortiz

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