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Yates Cries at Seeing Kids’ Photos

February 21, 2002

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HOUSTON (AP) _ Andrea Yates sobbed at her murder trial Thursday as prosecutors displayed photos and videotape of four of her drowned children on a bed and the fifth floating face down in the bathtub.

The bodies were found at the family’s home on June 20 after Yates called police to say she had killed her children, who ranged in age from 6 months to 7 years.

Yates, 37, has pleaded innocent by reason of insanity. Her lawyers say she was suffering from postpartum depression and is now taking powerful anti-psychotic drugs. She could get the death penalty if convicted.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers had haggled Wednesday over which of the 39 photos should be admitted into evidence. The judge allowed 29 of them, including close-ups of the children’s faces and their bruises.

The first photo was displayed on a large screen and duplicated on monitors at the defense table in the courtroom, where testimony was in its fourth day. The children appeared to be sleeping beside each other. Luke, 2, one sock missing, was at one end beside 3-year-old Paul. Six-month-old Mary was on the other end with 5-year-old John, who left arm was under her body.

As tears began to roll down Yates’ cheeks, prosecutor Kaylynn Williford walked to the front of the jury box to show the rest of the pictures, including one of 7-year-old Noah in the tub.

Some of the jurors also cried.

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