Prosecutor: Andrea Yates Coached Cellmate "Do What I'm
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
February 24, 2006
HOUSTON, TEXAS--As a new trial nears for Andrea Yates, who admitted drowning her five children in June 2001, testimony has surfaced from a former cellmate who claimed that Yates coached her on how to act like she had a mental illness in order to beat her legal case.
According to the Associated Press, court documents filed Thursday include an account by Felicia Doe, who shared a cell with Yates for four days in 2002.
Doe said Yates told her not to eat, speak properly or act friendly toward others. Doe added that Yates acted "distinctly different" when jail staff could see her.
Another woman said Yates told her the children were "just too much" for her to handle.
Yates confessed to drowning her children, ages six months to seven years, but pleaded guilty by reason of insanity. During her confession she explained that the children were "not developing correctly", that she was not a good mother and needed to be punished.
At her 2002 trial, psychiatrists testified that Yates experienced schizophrenia and postpartum depression. But the jury rejected Yates' insanity defense and sentenced her to life in prison for drowning three of the children. Her convictions were overturned last year because of false testimony from an expert witness.
Her second trial is set to begin March 20.
"Inmate says Andrea Yates advised her to fake mental illness" (Associated Press)