A day after she was found not guilty by reason of insanity for the drowning deaths of her children, Andrea Yates has been ordered to a maximum security mental hosptial for evaluation. Houston Public Radio’s Jack Williams reports.
Judge Belinda Hill has ordered that Yates be evaluated at the North Texas State Hospital in Vernon, near Wichita Falls. During a brief hearing today, Yates sat quietly in an orange, jail issued jumpsuit, looking rested and relaxed. This is her attorney George Parnham.
“She is under court jurisdiction now. She is not out of jail, she is not a free woman. She’s not on bond. It is the responsibility according to the code, that she now is transported by the Harris County Sheriff’s Department to that state facility.”
Doctors at the Vernon hospital will test whether Yates is a danger to herself or others. She could then be transferred to the Rusk State Hospital, where she’s spent time in the past, within a few weeks.
“I think it’s patently obvious that she is not a danger to anybody and I am encouraged by the fact that the doctors at Rusk believe that she really doesn’t pose a risk to herself at this time and that’s because of medication.”
Parnham says Yates will be eligible for periodic reviews of her mental condition, be feels she’ll always need some sort of mental health treatment.