Andrea Yates, who was sent to a Texas mental institution after drowning her five children in 2001, will ask her doctors to leave the hospital for a few hours every week in order to attend church.
Yates’ lawyer, George Parnham, said that church could be very good for his client. Parnham said:
“It is a recommendation of the doctors that she be permitted to attend, and of course she wants to. It would be both beneficial and mentally therapeutic for her. She has been accepted into a congregation. It is simply a baby step in the right direction toward acclimation into a community down the road of sorts.”
Parnham said that Yates’ doctors will make the request of the trial judge next week.
CNN reports that Yates believed that she was sending her children, Noah, 7; John, 5; Paul, 3; Luke, 2; and Mary, 6 months, to heaven when she killed them in 2001. The jury at her trial in 2002 listened to taped interviews where Yates said that she was communicating with Satan.
Parnham said at her trial: “If this woman doesn’t meet the test of insanity in this state, then nobody does. We might as well wipe it from the books.”
Yates, however, was found guilty and was sentenced to life in prison. After a series of appeals a second trial was held in 2006. Yates was found not guilty by reason of insanity and was placed in the Kerrville State Mental Hospital, in Kerrville, Texas.
Robert Yates said:
“Yes, Andrea took the lives of our children… That’s the truth. But also, yes, she was insane. Yes, she was psychotic on that day. That’s the whole truth.”
Do you think Andrea Yates be allowed to leave the mental hospital in order to attend church?