Image: Andrea Yates
David J. Phillip  /  Pool via AP
Andrea Yates leaves the courtroom after a pre-trial hearing Monday in Houston.
updated 1/9/2006 1:50:44 PM ET 2006-01-09T18:50:44

Andrea Yates pleaded innocent by reason of insanity in the drowning deaths of her children Monday as she made her first court appearance since her 2002 capital murder convictions were overturned.

State District Judge Belinda Hill set a March 20 trial date.

Yates, 41, will remain in the custody of the Harris County Sheriff’s Department until she is retried for the deaths of three of her five children. Her attorney, George Parnham, had asked that Yates be sent to Rusk State Hospital until the new trial.

During her original trial, jurors rejected Yates’ insanity defense and found her guilty for the 2001 deaths of three of the children drowned in the family bathtub: 7-year-old Noah, 5-year-old John and the youngest, 6-month-old Mary.

Evidence was presented about the drownings of the other two children — Paul, 3, and Luke, 2 — but Yates was not charged in their deaths.

Yates was sentenced to life in prison.

Her convictions were overturned last January by a state appeals court because of testimony by the state’s expert witness, forensic psychiatrist Park Dietz.

He testified that, shortly before Yates killed her five children, television’s “Law and Order” series broadcast an episode about a woman with postpartum depression who drowned her children. No such episode ever existed.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments