Andrea Yates Biography

(1964–)
Andrea Yates was a mother of five from Houston, Texas, who drowned her children.

Synopsis

Andrea Yates was born on July 2, 1964, in Houston, Texas. She was treated for postpartum depression and psychosis and, after the birth of her fifth child, went into a severe depression. On June 20, 2001, she drowned all five of her children in the bathtub. She was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to life, but a court of appeals reversed the conviction and found her insane.

Religious Affiliation

Andrea Yates was born Andrea Pia Kennedy on July 2, 1964, in Houston, Texas. Yates was a stellar student and class valedictorian. In 1993, she married Rusty Yates, who was a disciple of preacher Michael Peter Woroniecki. Through sermons, videos and personal telephone calls, the Woronieckis condemned the Yates' for their hypocritical Christian lifestyle, saying their children were doomed to hell because of their parents sins. The Woronieckis also preached that married couples should have as many children as possible.

Psychological Issues and Murder

In 1999, Yates was treated for postpartum depression and psychosis, illnesses that ran in her family. After the birth of her fifth child and the death of her father, she went into a severe depression and was forcefully admitted to Devereux-Texas Treatment Network. There, Dr. Mohammed Saeed prescribed a series of psychotropic drug treatments. He also abruptly tapered off the antipsychotic Haldol, a medication that helped Andrea recover in 1999. On June 20, 2001, during the hour between her husband leaving for work and her mother-in-law arriving, Andrea Yates drowned all five of her children in the bathtub.

Conviction

Throughout the trial, Rusty Yates stood by his wife, claiming it was the illness and not Andrea that had killed the children. She pleaded innocence by reason of insanity citing postpartum psychosis. In March 2002, a jury rejected the insanity defense and found Yates guilty of first degree murder, sentencing her to life in prison with eligibility for parole in 40 years. That same year, The Yates Children's Memorial Fund was established in memory of the children. Rusty Yates divorced Andrea during her incarceration in 2004 and remarried in 2006.

On January 6, 2005, the Texas Court of Appeals reversed the convictions and on July 26, 2006, Yates was found not guilty by reason of insanity and was committed to North Texas State Hospital and in 2007 was transferred to Kerrville State Hospital.

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