Andrea Yates Wants to Attend Church
Remember Andrea Yates? She's the Houston woman who was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the drowning deaths of her five children back in June of 2001. Yates is now a patient at the Kerrville State Hospital, and through her attorney, she's asking to be allowed out of the facility once a week to go to church.
Defense attorney George Parnham says he expects Yates' doctors at the Kerrville State Hospital to write a letter to her original trial court in Houston, asking that she be allowed to leave the hospital for two hours weekly to attend church services.
"We're now going to be asking for a pass for two hours," says Parnham, who hopes she will eventually be allowed to leave the state's care for good.
State hospital physicians consider a patient's possible risk to the community before recommending a "therapeutic" pass, the first step toward a life beyond the hospital.
Parnham says he believes she's ready to rejoin society, and that includes getting a job and living on her own. "I think she's ready for outpatient care."
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 testimony from a prosecution expert witness was found to be false.
In her second trial in 2006, the jury found Yates not guilty by reason of insanity, and she's been confined at the state psychiatric hospital since then.