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Archive for Saturday, July 8, 2006

Psychiatrist warned Yates against fifth baby

July 8, 2006

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— A psychiatrist testified Friday that she warned Andrea Yates not to have any more children after she tried to commit suicide twice within months of having her fourth child in 1999.

"I could pretty much predict that Mrs. Yates would have another episode of psychosis," Dr. Eileen Starbranch told jurors in Yates' second murder retrial.

Starbranch said Yates suffered from postpartum psychosis, which she said causes a mother to have delusions and lose touch with reality, making it much more severe than postpartum depression.

Yates drowned her five young children in a bathtub in June 2001, six months after the birth of her fifth child, Mary. She is being tried again because an appeals court overturned her 2002 murder conviction based on erroneous testimony that might have influenced the jury. She has again pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Yates' attorneys have never disputed she killed the youngsters but say she didn't know the drownings were wrong.

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