- HOUSTON (Reuters) - A Texas mother who confessed to
her five children got a court-appointed lawyer on Friday, after reportedly
telling investigators she drowned her kids one-by-one and had to chase
down her frightened eldest son to finish the job.
- Andrea Yates, 36, gave short answers in a brief hearing
before State District Judge Belinda Hill, during which she was granted
indigent status and given an attorney.
- Hill postponed the hearing to an undetermined date so
Yates, who is being held without bail and facing a charge that could bring
her the death penalty, would have time to consult with her lawyer.
- Yates killed her children on Wednesday, making her
confession to police just moments after drowning the oldest of her five
- A report in Friday's Houston Chronicle said Yates drowned
her youngest children one by one in a bathtub, but had to chase her
oldest son through the house and drag him to the bathroom after he saw
what she was doing.
- "This is the most horrendous thing I have ever
Harris County Assistant District Attorney Joe Owmby said after the
- Owmby declined to say whether prosecutors would seek
the death penalty, which under Texas law is the maximum punishment for
- Yates' court-appointed attorney, Bob Scott, was to meet
Friday with his client at the Harris County Jail Friday. He did not
return a call seeking comment.
- Owmby said prosecutors would next call a grand jury to
indict Yates, after reviewing the police file and discussing the case with
investigators. He would not, however, discuss details of the killings in
the Chronicle's report.
- The newspaper, citing an unnamed police officer who
Yates' videotaped statement to investigators, said the mother and former
registered nurse recounted the events in a "zombie-like
- "What's wrong with Mary?" 7-year-old Noah Yates
asked his mother when he saw her placing 6-month-old Mary in the
- Yates said her son ran from her, but she chased him
the house, dragged him back to the bathroom and drowned him alongside his
infant sister, the report said.
- Before that, Yates said she killed, in order, Luke, 2,
Paul, 3, and John, 5. After each child was drowned, she carried their
onto a bed and covered them with a sheet, where police said all but one
body, Noah's, was found.
- She left Noah in the tub before calling police and
Russell Yates, who was at his job as a computer engineer at the nearby
Johnson Space Center.
- The Harris County Medical Examiner's Office ruled on
Thursday night that the children died of asphyxia from drowning.
- No motive for the killings was reported, but Russell
Yates on Thursday blamed the tragedy on his wife's severe case of
depression, for which she had been taking medication.
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