Jurors in the retrial of Andrea Yates continue their deliberations this afternoon, sending several notes to Judge Belinda Hill with requests to review testimony in the case. Houston Public Radio’s Jack Williams reports from the Harris County Courthouse downtown.
The jury resumed deliberations at about 9 o’clock today after spending the night at a nearby hotel. At around noon, the panel sent a note to Judge Hill asking to review the testimony of prosecution witness Dr. Michael Welner, who told jurors in July that he thought Yates killed her children for selfish reasons, not because she was mentally ill. Jurors then were allowed to review a PowerPoint presentation that Welner used during his testimony.
Later, the jury requested a review of a videotape of an interview between defense witness, Dr. Phillip Resnick and Yates that was taped a few weeks after the June 2001 murders. During the trial, Dr. Resnick testified that although Yates knew drowning her children was illegal, she considered it right because she thought she was saving them from hell.
This is the first full day of deliberations after 17-days of testimony in the trial. The jury has now deliberated for a total of about 10 hours. The panel will be sequestered again if it doesn’t come up with a verdict today. Lawyers from both sides have been seen in the hallways on the 20th floor of the downtown courthouse, anxiously awaiting the conclusion of a case that has spanned more than 5 years and two trials.
Reporting from the Harris County Criminal Courts Building, Jack Williams, Houston Public Radio News.