Well, the Andrea Yates re-trial is over, with the jury returning a verdict of Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity.
So, what happens next? Ms. Yates will be transferred to a Texas State MHMR hospital, where she will be reviewed by the trial judge at regular intervals. If, during one of the reviews, the judge makes the determination that — and I quote:
“…no longer has a severe mental illness or mental retardation, is no longer likely to cause serious harm to another, or that treatment and supervision can be safely and effectively provided as outpatient or community-based treatment and supervision.”
Then within about 60 days, she’ll be released.
For those of my Gentle Readers who haven’t been keeping abreast of this particular item, Andrea Yates is the Texas woman who very methodically and deliberately drowned all five of her children in the bath-tub.
She had been previously found guilty of three counts of murder, and sentenced to life in prison, but because of slip-shod testimony on the part of a prosecuting witness, Andrea Yates wound up with a re-trial. The results of which are posted as the title to this piece.
On 20 June 2001, Ms. Yates filled her bath-tub to within three inches of the top with water.
She then put six-month-old Mary in a bassinet and left her in the bathroom, while she picked up Luke — age 2 — placed him facedown in the water and held him there until he stopped struggling. She then placed the dead body of her son on a bed, and went to get Paul — age 3 — and she did the same to him, as her six-month old baby girl cried in the bassinet beside the bath-tub.
Following Paul was John, age five, also placed face-down in the bathtub and held there against his struggles until he drowned, then it was the crying Mary’s turn.
Once Mary had stopped struggling under the fouled water of the bath-tub, Andrea left her floating there while she called her eldest son to the bath-room.
Upon getting to the bath-room, her eldest — Noah, age seven — came to the bath-room, but fled after seeing Mary.
Andrea Yates then chased down her terrified son, dragged her terrified son back to the bathroom, placed her terrified son facedown in the tub next to his baby sister, and held her terrified son under the water until the water flooded his lungs and he died.
Ms. Yates told the police that Noah put up the biggest struggle, actually breaking free of Ms. Yates and getting air on more than one occasion, before his strength finally gave out, and he drowned face-down in a bath-tub full of water stained with the terror of savagely murdered children, next to the dead body of his infant sister — held there by the thing that bore him.
Part of me demands terror for terror and pain for pain. There is not one godsdamned thing that Andrea Yates has gone through that equals what her children endured as they died.
Don’t give me that crap about the pain a mother feels upon the death of her children. Nothing — not any godsdamned thing —that Andrea Yates has gone through equals what her children went through.
Usually, the thinking part of me overrides the primal part.
Not this time.
Andrea Yates is in a State Hospital, for a term not to exceed 40 years — what she would have received
when if found Guilty. At regular intervals the judge of her case will review her progress, and if she “stabilizes”, she will be released.
On 16 June 1999, Ms. Yates was transferred to the Houston Methodist Hosptial Pysch Unit. She was released 24 June — after she stabilized.
On 20 July 1999, Ms. Yates was re-hospitalized for ten days, but stabilized on meds and was released.
At the end of March 2000, Ms. Yates was re-hospitalized, but stabilized and was released after ten days.
She has a habit of “stabilizing”. Minimum of three times, if I count correctly.
She also has a habit of flushing her medications down the commode. I don’t see that changing, either.
She’ll “stabilize”. She’ll quietly get out, just as soon as the psychiatrists and the judge think they can do it without having effigies of themselves burned on the courthouse lawn.
Then, she’ll flush the meds down the commode. Probably not at first, but eventually she’ll decide that she hates the “fuzzy” feeling that the stabilizing meds give her and they’ll go down the khazi.
And, sure as the dusk follows the dawn, she’ll go bugnuts again.
The only question becomes: will her out-patient minders discover that she’s not on meds anymore and lock her down until she starts taking them again? Or will they miss it, and leave it up to someone like me to stop her from filling another bath-tub?
Or — Gods — will someone like me have to clean up the mess — again?