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Andrea Yates Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the life of Andrea Yates, who was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the drowning of her five children.


Birth date: July 2, 1964

Birth place: Houston, Texas

Birth name: Andrea Pia Kennedy

Father: Andrew Kennedy

Mother: Jutta Karin (Koehler) Kennedy

Marriage: Russell “Rusty” Yates (April 17, 1993-March 17, 2005, divorced)

Children: Mary (November 30, 2000); Luke (February 15, 1999); Paul (September 13, 1997); John (December 15, 1995); Noah (February 26, 1994)

Education: University of Texas School of Nursing at Houston, 1986


June 17, 1999 – Overdoses on Trazodone, a medication used to treat depression, and is admitted to Methodist Hospital psychiatric unit where she is diagnosed with a major depressive disorder.

July 21, 1999 – Admitted to Memorial Spring Shadows Glen for psychiatric treatment after she tries to kill herself. She is treated as an inpatient and later as an outpatient for two months and is prescribed Haldol.

Spring 2001 – She is admitted twice to Devereux Texas Treatment Network for treatment. She is prescribed strong anti-psychotic medications, including Haldol.

June 4, 2001Psychiatrist Mohammed Saeed discontinues Yates’ prescription of Haldol.

June 20, 2001 – Yates drowns her five children, one by one, in the bathtub at their home in Clear Lake, Texas.

July 30, 2001She is indicted on two counts of capital murder and pleads not guilty by reason of insanity.

February 18, 2002 – Yates’ trial begins.

March 2002 – During the trial, the prosecution’s expert witness, psychiatrist Park Dietz, testifies that Yates got the idea to drown her children from an episode of “Law & Order.” However, the show’s producers later state that no such episode ever aired.

March 12, 2002 – A Harris County jury convicts Yates of two counts of capital murder in the deaths of Noah, John and Mary. She was not tried in the deaths of Paul and Luke. She is later sentenced to life in prison.

2002 – The Yates Children Memorial Fund is established in honor of the Yates children and to raise awareness of postpartum depression and psychosis.

October 2003 Yates is placed on suicide watch after refusing to eat.

April 30, 2004Yates’ attorney, George Parnham, files an appeal.

July 2004 Yates is hospitalized after refusing to eat.

July 30, 2004Rusty Yates files for divorce.

January 6, 2005 – The Texas First Court of Appeals reverses Yates’ capital murder conviction saying that erroneous testimony by psychiatrist Park Dietz may have prejudiced the jury.

March 17, 2005 – The divorce between Andrea and Rusty is finalized. She receives $7,000 in cash, the right to be buried near their children and a nursing chair. Andrea will also receive part of Rusty’s retirement benefits from NASA.

January 9, 2006Yates pleads not guilty by reason of insanity, during her first court appearance since 2002.

February 1, 2006 State District Judge Belinda Hill approves a $200,000 bond for Yates on the condition that she voluntarily commits herself to Rusk State Hospital.

February 2, 2006 – Yates is released from Harris County Jail and admitted to the Rusk State Hospital for psychiatric treatment.

June 26, 2006Yates’ retrial begins.

July 26, 2006 – Yates is found not guilty by reason of insanity and is ordered to a mental facility.

January 2007 – Yates is transferred from North Texas State Hospital Vernon Campus to the Kerrville State Hospital in Kerrville, Texas.

May 2012 – Yates’ petition to attend weekly church service outside of the hospital is denied.

February 2014 – Yates and her doctors at Kerrville State Hospital request that she be allowed to attend supervised group outings with other patients. The request is later withdrawn due to media attention and public scrutiny.

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