Yates Convictions Overturned

Andrea Yates

1-6-05 – HOUSTON (AP) A state appeals court has overturned the capital murder convictions against Andrea Yates and ordered a new trial in the drownings of her children.

The Texas First Court of Appeals issued its ruling in Houston today in a 12-page opinion signed by court Justice Sam Nuchia.

A three-judge panel found that the Harris County trial jury might have been prejudiced against Yates by the false testimony of a prosecution expert.

Park Dietz testified he consulted on an episode of the NBC TV show "Law and Order" about a woman with postpartum depression acquitted by reason of insanity in the drowning of her children. It was later revealed that no such program existed.

The Houston mother was serving a life sentence for the 2001 drownings of three of her five children. All five children were drowned in a bathtub at the family's home.