Andrea Yates Could be Released from Mental Hospital Later This Year
Ten years after Andrea Yates drowned her five children in the bathtub at her home in Houston, her lawyer says he’s “optimistic” she’ll be released from a state mental hospital after a recommitment hearing in November.
The trials of Andrea Yates focused worldwide attention on the rare condition known as postpartum psychosis, a form of postpartum depression that affects about one in 1,000 women.
Experts say new mothers with this condition may hear voices, see things that aren’t there and have thoughts of harming their baby. Yates reportedly believed she was possessed by Satan and that killing her children would save them from hell.
In her first trial in 2002, Yates was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison, but the conviction was overturned on appeal because crucial testimony from a prosecution expert witness was found to be untrue.
At her retrial in 2006, Yates was found not guilty by reason of insanity, and she's been getting treatment and medication at various state hospitals ever since. She's been at the low security state mental hospital in Kerrville since 2007.
Her attorney, George Parnham, says Yates was severely mentally ill when this first happened, "But with therapy and treatments...she’s come full circle and she’s really well.” Parnham says he's optimistic she can be released this year.
High school valedictorian Yates now spends her days reading, sewing aprons and creating cards for the hospital's gift shop.
Yates' former husband Rusty Yates says he’s looking forward to his ex-wife being released and rebuilding her life.