A Houston judge has delayed the retrial of Andrea Yates, agreeing with a defense contention that two of its most important witnesses wouldn’t be available to testify until this summer. Houston Public Radio’s Jack Williams reports.
State District Judge Belinda Hill now says jury selection in the second trial will start June 22nd, with opening statements set for June 26th, nearly five years to the day after Yates drowned her five children in June of 2001. Her attorney, George Parnham, says the delay is a good thing.
“The real upside for this is that she’ll continue to have hospital care. She’s a patient at Rusk. She’s doing very well and I couldn’t be more pleased with how she is not only doing mentally, but being able to cope psychologically.”
Judge Hill agreed with Parnham’s argument that two of his key witnesses are unavailable until late June. Assistant District Attorney Alan Curry says although the state was ready for retrial, it will use the extra time to strengthen its case.
“It will be favorable for us in the sense that you can never be completely prepared for a case like this because of the length of it and just all the witness that need to be ready and need to be called.”
Yates 2002 conviction was overturned by an appeals court because of faulty testimony from a prosecution witness. Unlike her first trial, she will not face the death penalty in the second trial.