Andrea Yates has trouble sleeping, and still fights deep depression, despite the medications she will be on for the rest of her life, her attorneys say.
Yates' mother, Karin Kennedy, says she still has hallucinations around the anniversary of her children's deaths. Andrea Yates finds some solace in art. She draws pictures of rainbows and flowers that her mother displays in her home.
For Harris County prosecutor Joe Ownby, the case against Yates is very simple. All he has to do is remember the five children who died when she drowned them in the bathtub of her suburban home five years ago.
The crime scene video tape that will once again be played in court haunts many who saw it during the first trial. The police photographer walks in the front door, shows the children's school room, the living room, the kitchen where cereal bowls sit on the table. The camera tracks through the home, showing a child's wet sock in the hallway, then turns into the bathroom where the body of one of her children is face down in the bathtub. The videotape ends in a bedroom where four tiny bodies were laid neatly on a bed and covered with a sheet.
Fairy Caroland, Andreas' relative from her marriage to Russell Yates, sees it differently.
"Andrea was very sick, is still very sick, and suffered from delusions that her children were irreparably harmed and damaged by her,"Caroland said. "And the only way for them to be 'saved' and go to heaven was for them to die at their young ages, so that they could immediately go to God."
A Second Trial, A Second Insanity Defense
Once again, Andrea Yates is being tried on two charges of capital murder in the deaths of three of her five children. Once again she has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
Her defense team and the prosecution agree on one issue: Yates was clearly a troubled mother. But prosecutors contend she knew what she was doing was wrong.
In Texas, that is all that is needed to convince a jury thatYates was mentally ill, but not insane when she decided to systemically down her children one-by-one, at a time when she knew her husband would be at work.
Yates is being tried again because her conviction was overturned on appeal. The appeals court was concerned that testimony from prosecution psychiatrist Park Dietz -- which was wrong -- may have influenced the jury's decision to convict Yates in the first trial.
Yates' attorney, George Parnham, is optimistic that he can persuade a jury this time to find her not guilty. He believes people are smarter about the postpartum depression, which triggered Yates into psychosis. Parnham says Yates is still a very sick woman.
"She is on a heavy dosage of antipsychotic medication to keep her from drifting into psychotic delusions," Parnham said. "She certainly appreciates what happened on June the 20 of 2001, and she understands that she has to go back through the cause of a trial. You can imagine the hell Andrea Yates lives with every day."
A jury of seven women and eight men has been chosen to hear this second trial. They will have to decide if Yates knew right from wrong when she drowned her children.
If Yates is convicted, this jury will not have to decide if she should be sentenced to death. Prosecutors are not asking for the death penalty this time.