Yates Trial Could Be Delayed; Judge to Decide

Both sides in the Andrea Yates case could find out tomorrow if her second trial will proceed as scheduled next month. As Houston Public Radio's Jack Williams reports, that decision was delayed earlier today by hte state district judge presiding over the case.

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Judge Belinda Hill was to have ruled on a defense claim of prosecutorial misconduct today, but will instead make that decision tomorrow morning. If she rules in favor of the defense, the trial could be delayed as long as year. If she agrees with the prosecution, the trial could start on-time March 20th. Harris County Assistant District Attorney Alan Curry says the delay is no surprise.

"Things like this happen in the midst of getting ready for trial all the time. Parties think about how they want to procede and they go forward in different ways or someone suggests something else and they decide to do it a different way. Basicially in laymans terms this is something that happens all the time in getting ready for trial."

Yesterday, Yates' attorney George Parnham rejected a plea deal that would have sent his client to prison for 35 years. But he says he's willing to enterain other plea offers that include mental health care and security.

"I'll be more than happy to plead her no contest to one case, give her credit for her back time. We could end up with some type of a deferred adjudication or a stipulated not guilty by reason of insanity, place her in mental health facility, and at such time as if she's ever released, the prosecutor has the option of trying her on a case."

Parnham says without a deal, he's prepared to go to trial, although he says both sides would prefer to come to an agreement before that happens.

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