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SC mom who drove kids into ocean to learn fate

By MIKE SCHNEIDER
Associated Press

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A psychiatrist says pregnancy likely triggered a mental-illness episode for a South Carolina mother who drove her three children into the ocean off Daytona Beach earlier this year.

Dr. Jeffrey Danziger testified Tuesday that Ebony Wilkerson's symptoms disappeared after she gave birth to her fourth child in jail.

Danziger says Wilkerson's illness couldn't be neatly categorized because it included elements of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Symptoms included wild swings between being catatonic and euphoric.

Danziger's testimony was interrupted after Wilkerson's attorney, Juliane Morris, fainted at a podium while questioning him. She quickly regained consciousness. Court was in recess while paramedics attended to her.

In the hearing, psychologists are giving opinions on whether Wilkerson should be forcibly hospitalized for treatment.

Circuit Judge Leah Case ruled last week that Wilkerson was not guilty by reason of insanity to child abuse.

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