Judge denies request from woman accused of driving van into ocean
Ebony Wilkerson wants unsupervised visits with her children
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A judge denied the request by a woman accused of driving a van into the ocean while her children were inside to have unsupervised visits with her husband and four children.
Ebony Wilkerson waived her right to appear in court on Monday, but her attorney tried his best to persuade the judge that she no longer needs a chaperone from Free Spirit Evangelistic Ministries while visiting with her family.
"It's quite obvious what I'm trying to do is incrementally loosen the restraints, so we can show a track record of her doing well and eventually having her return back to being a mother and going back to her home state of South Carolina," attorney Jay Crocker said.
The state didn't reject the request; however, Judge Leah Case had concerns about statements Wilkerson has made in the past about her husband's abusive behavior.
"My memory serves me that she has on multiple occasions to different people in reports, family members and doctors, blamed any aberrant behavior on the violence that she suffered at the hands of her husband," Case said.
News 6 spoke with Wilkerson, who said the family is devastated by the outcome. She said everyone was in agreement to move forward except for the judge and she doesn't understand why her husband's abusive past is holding them back.
"He did some work on it. Even though he hasn't been charged, he did do domestic violence classes and I also had domestic violence therapy for victims. I don't see why she's holding stuff that happened in the past against us when we already worked on those things," she said.
Since January, Wilkerson has been able to visit her husband without supervision, but the judge said it'll take some time before she's comfortable bringing the children into those visits.
"We just need to do that process slowly," Case said.
Wilkerson said she'll continue to stay positive.
"This is really bad on the system. It doesn't treat people fairly. I've been able to go through this system with my head held high. I've never tried to harm my kids, never tried to hurt myself. I just had a breakdown when I was following things and ended up on a beach, that's a drive on (the) beach," she said.
If Wilkerson can't get unsupervised visits in the next few months, she plans on going through dependency court.
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