Doctors: Andrea Yates Ready for Picnics, Outings

Mother who drowned her 5 kids has been institutionalized since 2006

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 17, 2014 1:09 AM CST

(Newser) – A Texas mother who drowned her five children in a bathtub in 2001 is ready to leave the state psychiatric hospital for picnics and other outings with fellow patients, her doctors say. Andrea Yates, 49, has been institutionalized since 2006, when a second trial found her not guilty by reason of insanity of the murders of Noah, 7; John, 5; Paul, 3; Luke 2; and Mary, 6 months, reports the Houston Chronicle. She had initially been convicted of capital murder, but medical experts testified that she had suffered from extreme postpartum depression.

Yates, who was denied permission to attend church services outside the hospital in 2012, is the only patient at the facility who has never received a group-outing pass, sources tell KTRH. Her lawyer says she has been involved with arts and crafts at the minimum-security hospital, sending the proceeds from anonymous sales of greeting cards and aprons to a charity that works to improve the mental health of new mothers. "She wants to help build a legacy for those children to help prevent future tragedies like hers," he says. "Every kid deserves to be raised by a mother free of mental illness."

This March 21, 2002 photo made available by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Andrea Yates in Gatesville, Texas.
This March 21, 2002 photo made available by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Andrea Yates in Gatesville, Texas.   (AP Photo/Texas Department of Criminal Justice, File)
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