Appeals Court Overturns Andrea Yates' Conviction, Sentence - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/6/05

Appeals Court Overturns Andrea Yates' Conviction, Sentence

Andrea Yates is said to have reacted with a smile and a sense of shock after learning her murder convictions were overturned Thursday.

The Houston woman was found guilty of drowning three of her children in 2001. Thursday, a three-judge appeals court found that the jury might have been prejudiced against her by the false testimony of a prosecution expert. The witness testified that there had been an episode of NBC's "Law and Order" with facts similar to the Yates case, when no such episode ever existed.

Prosecutors say they are disappointed with the ruling, but say they will appeal. "We were disappointed that it happened disappointed that there was this cloud, but not overly concerned that the case would be reversed because we felt at that time that the law reasonably allows that no trial is perfect," said Harris County District Attorney Joe Owmby.

Yates had been serving a life sentence. If Thursday's ruling stands, Yates will get a new trial, she could also be eligible for bail.

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