US Yates Verdict 2 - WRAP Housewife convicted of murder of her five children Reaction
IN_TIME: 04:06:02 / 07:31:47
DATELINE: Houston, Texas, USA, 12 March 2002/File
POOL - 12 March, 2002
1. Wide of Andrea Yates entering courtroom to hear verdict
2. Close up of Yates' mother
3. Close up of Yates' husband
4. Close up of Yates talking to defence lawyer
5. Wide of judge Belinda Hill
6. SOUNDBITE: (English) Judge Belinda Hill:
"Mrs Yates please stand. In case number 880205 the State of Texas versus Andrea Yates. We the jury find the defendant Andrea Yates guilty of capital murder as charged in the indictment. Signed by the Foreperson."
7. Zoom into Yates
8. Close up of defence lawyer
9. Wide of Yates' husband with head in hands
10. Close up of Yates' mother
11. Yates taken out of court by court officials
12. Yates' husband being comforted
APTN - File
13. File of Yates' children
POOL - 12 March, 2002
14. Pan from reporter to defence lawyer
15. SOUNDBITE: (English) George Parnham, Defence Attorney:
"I thought we laid out a strong case for mental illness and insanity defence. In some point in time this state has got to address the issues concerning mental illness and the law. I'm not critiquing or criticising the verdict but it seems to me that we are still back in the days of the Salem witchcraft where we take a demonised woman and take her life."
16. Still photo of Yates' family
Andrea Yates, the 37-year-old housewife who admitted she drowned her five children, was convicted of murder on Tuesday by a jury that rejected her claim of insanity in just three and a half hours.
Yates, who could be sentenced to death or to life in prison, showed little reaction as she stood between her attorneys during the verdict.
In the audience, her husband, Russell, muttered "Oh God" and clasped his head with both hands. The penalty phase begins on Wednesday.
Yates was convicted of two charges of capital murder. The charges cover the deaths of three of her children.
Deliberations began at midday after prosecutors told the jury of eight women and four men that even though Yates is mentally ill, she knew drowning her children was wrong and is thus guilty of murder.
The defense argued that she suffered from postpartum depression so severe that she had lost her ability for rational thought.
Defense attorney George Parnham told the jury in the closely watched case: "This is an opportunity for this jury to make a determination about the status of women's mental health. Make no mistake, the world is watching."
After deliberating more than two hours, jurors passed a note to District Judge Belinda Hill asking for the definition of insanity. Thirty minutes later, jurors asked for a cassette player. Among items in evidence are audiotapes of Yates' confession and her call to police the day of the drownings.
Last year, Yates called her five children into the bathroom one by one and drowned them in the tub, then called the police to tell authorities what she had done. Police found 7-year-old Noah in the tub; the other children were under a wet sheet on a bed.
According to testimony, Yates was overwhelmed by the responsibilities of raising five children and believed she was a bad mother. She had suffered severe depression and had attempted suicide.
She was on trial for the deaths of Noah, 5-year-old John and 6-month-old Mary, though there were only two capital murder charges filed.