On Nov. 12 criminal attorney George Parnham visited Andrea Yates at Skyview prison psychiatric facility in Rusk, Texas, with what he thought was good news: She would be getting a new trial. But Yates, who drowned her five small children in June 2001 and was sentenced to life in prison, "dreads" going to court again, says Parnham. "Andrea will be subjected again to the evidence of this case: diapers, pajamas, autopsy photos. Can you imagine the impact?" says Parnham, who hopes to avoid a trial by striking a plea bargain with prosecutors. Andrea has an ally in her ex-husband, Rusty Yates. "I hate what she did, but I can't blame her," says Rusty, who divorced Andrea in March but visits her once a month. "If she hadn't been psychotic, she never would have harmed our children."
Yates, who has a history of mental illness and who told police that Satan told her to murder her kids, pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity at her trial. A jury disagreed, after hearing forensic psychiatrist Park Dietz, a major prosecution witness, say a woman had committed a similar crime on Law & Order—and was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Parnham appealed after discovering no such episode existed, and on Nov. 9, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals threw out Andrea's conviction. A trial could begin next year. But even if she is found not guilty, she probably won't go free; Parnham says she would likely be sent to a psychiatric facility indefinitely. "I don't see a situation where she'll ever be able to be without medical supervision," he says.
Reach Out and Rob Someone
With her sunglasses casually perched atop her head and her nonstop gabbing on a cell phone, cops say Candice Rose Martinez did her best to blend in with other bank customers. That is, until she reached the teller. The FBI says Martinez, a 19-year-old college student, confessed to being the so-called Cell Phone Bandit, a chatty thief who robbed four Wachovia banks since mid-October in three northeast Virginia counties. In her first three heists she showed the teller a note demanding cash, but on her last one, Nov. 4, she flashed a handgun as well, alarming police. A surveillance camera, however, clearly captured the multitasking robber's face, and Martinez was arrested on Nov. 15 at a home in Centreville, Va., hours after her accused accomplice, boyfriend Dave Williams. Says Loudoun County Sheriff Steve Simpson: "It's pretty bizarre."
On Newsstands Now
- Brad's Devotion: The Inside Story
- Oklahoma Tornado: Heroic Rescues
- Michael Douglas on Catherine's Health
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine