Nation: Jury finds Yates not guilty by reason of insanity |

Nation: Jury finds Yates not guilty by reason of insanity

— Andrea Yates was found not guilty by reason of insanity Wednesday in her second murder trial for the bathtub drownings of her young children.

Yates, 42, will now be committed to a state mental hospital, with periodic hearings before a judge to determine whether she should be released. An earlier jury had found her guilty of murder, but the verdict was overturned on appeal.

The defense never disputed that Yates drowned her five children one by one in the bathtub of their Houston-area home. But they said she suffered from severe postpartum psychosis and, in a delusional state, believed Satan was inside her and was trying to save them from hell.

Yates stared wide-eyed in court Wednesday as the verdict was read. She then bowed her head and wept quietly.

The children’s father, Rusty Yates, said outside court that the jury had reached the right conclusion.

“Yes, Andrea took the lives of our children, that’s the truth, but also yes, she was insane,” Rusty Yates said. He divorced Andrea Yates after the children’s June 2001 deaths.

The jury, split evenly men to women, deliberated for about 12 hours over three days before reaching its verdict. On Wednesday, the jurors listened again to the state definition of insanity and asked to see pictures of the five young children: baby Mary, 2-year-old Luke, 3-year-old Paul, 5-year-old John and 7-year-old Noah.

Prosecutors had maintained that Yates failed to meet the state’s definition of insanity: that a severe mental illness prevents someone who is committing a crime from knowing that it is wrong.

The jury had not been told that Yates would be committed to a mental institution for treatment if found not guilty. If found guilty of murder she would have faced life in prison.

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