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Old 03-13-2002, 04:18 PM
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Default Andrea Yates Guilty

This Article is from the From the Houston paper. Just wondering what opinions are floating around about this case.
I'm still holding off trying to find out more information if that is possible. What more could be revealed about the mentality of a mother to kill her children. Texas has laws that could also go after Andrea's husband. It is possible who could also be tried for endangerment of his children because he knew Andrea was mental and left his childrn with her.

Jurors took just 3 1/2 hours to convict Andrea Pia Yates of two capital murder charges Tuesday, stunning legal experts and onlookers

with the speed of their decision.

The eight women and four men rejected the defense team's argument that Yates was so mentally ill when she drowned her five children

last year that she was unaware her conduct was wrong.

Check here at 9 a.m. for live coverage of closing arguments in Andrea Yates' trial.

At 4:20 p.m., after a bailiff announced the jury had reached a verdict, Yates' family, friends and dozens of media representatives

scrambled to their seats.

Russell Yates, Andrea Yates' husband, sat with his arm around his mother and nervously shook his leg. Andrea Yates' mother, Jutta

Karin Kennedy, wiped back tears.

George Parnham, one of Yates' two lawyers, walked into Yates' holding cell and returned with her to the defense table.

Yates, 37, sat between Parnham and co-defense attorney Wendell Odom, rather than to the left of them as she had done throughout the

trial. She glanced toward her mother in the audience before facing the front.

Few members of the public were in the courtroom. Most seats were taken by family, friends, media and courthouse personnel. Deborah

Bell, the president of the local chapter of the National Organization for Women, sat near Russell Yates.

As the 12 jurors walked somberly into the courtroom at 4:57 p.m., only one -- a woman -- looked at Yates and her attorneys. The rest

looked straight ahead or kept their heads down.

After state District Judge Belinda Hill read the two guilty verdicts, Russell Yates sat with his head bowed and his elbows on his

knees. He shook and cried as his mother, Dora Yates, held her arms around him.

On the other side of the courtroom, two of Andrea Yates' brothers, Brian Kennedy and Andrew Kennedy, sat stone-faced. Yates' mother

wore a purple shirt -- her daughter's favorite color -- and quietly cried.

Outside the courtroom, Dr. Lucy Puryear, the psychiatrist who testified that Yates was legally insane when she drowned her children,

also wept.

Russell Yates and his family left the courtroom moments after the verdict was read. Jutta Kennedy stayed briefly and was escorted

out by Harris County deputy constables.

Lawyers and witnesses in the trial, including Russell Yates and his mother, remain under a gag order Hill issued June 26.

Before the verdict was announced, Russell Yates' aunt, Kathy Crisp of Memphis, Tenn., said that her nephew was ready for only one

verdict -- not guilty by reason of insanity.

That was the plea his wife of nearly nine years had entered to the capital murder charges against her in the June 20 bathtub

drownings of her children -- Noah, 7; John, 5; Paul, 3: Luke, 2; and Mary, 6 months. Yates was charged, however, only in the

drownings of Noah, John and Mary.

Yates has said she drowned her children because they were not "righteous" and would burn in hell if she did not take their lives

while they were still innocent.

To prove their case, Yates' attorneys needed to show that her mental illness was so severe it prevented her from knowing her conduct

was wrong.

Crisp said that Yates' family still believes Yates thought she was doing the right thing for her children.

"We knew her to be a good mother," Crisp said. "The trial hasn't changed our opinion toward Andrea at all."

Crisp also said she regretted that Tuesday morning's closing arguments were broadcast on national television, because she said there

were errors in prosecutors' statements.

Prosecutor Joe Owmby implied in his closing that Yates had been influenced by an episode of the television drama Law and Order,
in which a woman drowned her children and was judged insane.

Crisp said she knew of no evidence that Yates had seen the show or that it was broadcast before the children were drowned. Dr. Park

Dietz, the prosecution's expert psychiatric witness, testified he had advised script writers on the episode.

Crisp also said she was offended by Owmby's remark that he sometimes argues with himself, perhaps because he is responding to

"internal stimuli." That was a reference to testimony about notes in Yates' medical records that alluded to hallucinations.

Crisp said Owmby's remark made a mockery of mental illness.

"It was so unnecessary," she said. "It was hurtful to anyone who has suffered mental illness or knows anyone who has."

The verdict was stunningly quick, given that the jury had sent out a note only an hour earlier asking for the legal definition of


That definition had been hammered on by both prosecutors and defense attorneys throughout 3 1/2 weeks of jury selection and 17 days of

testimony. Attorneys from both sides used their closing arguments to urge jurors to use their common sense as they pondered the

evidence, much of it focusing on mental illness.

Owmby began the closings by saying Yates should be convicted as a deterrent to similar crimes.

Parnham told jurors he agreed with Owmby that the trial was about prevention.

"This is an opportunity for this jury to evaluate the evidence and make a determination about women's mental health," he said. "Make

no mistake, the world is watching."

But Owmby responded by saying: "There is no women's mental health. There is no men's mental health. Men who hold their kids hostage

deserve the same treatment as women who drown their children."

Parnham asked jurors not to get caught up in semantic arguments about whether Yates acted "knowingly."

"If this woman doesn't meet the test of insanity in this state, no one does," he said. "Zero. We might as well wipe it from the


Kaylynn Williford said experts could not dispute what happened in the Yates homes on the morning of June 20. She pointed out that

Yates filled the tub as soon as her husband left for work.

Williford asked jurors to remain silent for three minutes during their deliberations as a reminder of how long it took.

Williford also noted that, although Yates claimed to have killed her children to save them from hell, she never mentioned that to

police when she was arrested.

"To find her not guilty by reason of insanity is to say that we no longer have self-accountability in our society," she said.

In summarizing testimony from the trial's 38 witnesses, Odom said jurors may have heard innuendo about Yates feeling trapped in her

marriage or wanting a new house, but he noted there was no evidence she was anything other than a loving mother.

Odom said the prosecution wanted to convict Yates on a technicality.

"We all know this woman is and was extremely ill," he said. "The state is looking for a technicality on how to convict her, because

some people don't want to accept that you can be so ill that you can kill five people. ... Technically, she had a general concept

that the world perceives drowning as wrong. Therefore, we can convict her on a technicality."

Several family members attended a small candlelight vigil for Yates outside the courthouse Tuesday night, surrounded by reporters

and photographers. Russell Yates was joined by his mother, cousin and two aunts.

One of his aunts, the Rev. Fairy Caroland, offered a prayer for the Yates children.
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Old 03-14-2002, 08:20 AM
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there is a thread on this subject in the non-prison-talk forum--persoanlly, i would have to know a lot more details about the case to render an educated opinion --so for now all I can say is I know post-partum psychosis is real, although it is rare, and I think it is a possibility in this case

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Old 03-14-2002, 09:55 AM
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THis is what I gather so far. I'll put it simply. Both sides agree she was mentaly ill. They are micro debating what insane means. DId she know right from wrong at the moment she murdered? This issue of right and wrong at the moment of the crime is what is disected into a million pieces. In my opinion of course she was insane. No sane person would hold a baby under the water for at least three minutes to drown the poor litttle thing much less do it to the entire family. I think there was not enough information given to the jury about what would happen if they decided NOT guilty by resons of insanity. I think the jury as well as most people believed she would be free to walk out. The legal system should have been more concise abour how the criminally insane is kept out of society and given a little bit of Psychological care. I am ashamed of the Texas legal system right now. When national television shows like Saturday Night Live perform satire about Texas and Bush killing more inmates. We should pay attention that something is wrong.
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Old 03-16-2002, 09:55 PM
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Unhappy how tragic

I am not sure if I could still support my spouse who killed my 5 babies. Regardless of the reason they are both at fault. If he knew his wife was sick, which he stated several times that he did, he should have not been leaving the kids with her all alone. I would not be able to sit there and act like it never happened and support my spouse like he did her. It is amazing sometimes the things that people do.

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what wind is to fire
it extinguishes the small
it inflames the great


Old 03-19-2002, 03:08 PM
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Default Andrea Yates Trial & verdict

This is a very sad situation. This lady is certainly very ill. I listened to her Mother, brothers, and sister on TV last night. They are very bitter at Russell Yates over this situation. They feel that he did not insure Andrea had the medical and Mental help she needed. They all knew she was a very sick lady. They felt that her husband pushed her into having 5 children against her wishes and that he was already talking about having another.

This was a family that truly had love in it, but Andrea was a very timid individual who did not go aganist anything her husband wanted to do.

Really, I think that he also needs quite a bit of help. I also heard him say on TV that he was applying for a divorce from Andrea and that he wanted to go on with his life and marry and have children again.

I do think, that he should have counseling or something before they allow this to happen again.

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