Mother drowned her 5 children suffers from postpartum psychosis, defense states

Defense attorneys are scheduled to begin presenting their case Thursday in Yates' second capital murder trial. Yates' 2002 conviction was overturned last year by an appeals court citing erroneous testimony.

Prosecutors rested Wednesday after calling 12 witnesses. Yates, 41, has pleaded innocent by reason of insanity and faces life in prison if convicted.

Yates' attorneys will try to convince jurors that a psychotic delusion prevented her from knowing that drowning her five children in the bathtub was wrong.

They have never disputed that Yates killed 6-month-old Mary, 2-year-old Luke, 3-year-old Paul, 5-year-old John and 7-year-old Noah in the family's Houston-area home on June 20, 2001.

Attorney George Parnham said Yates was suffering from severe postpartum psychosis and, in a delusional state, had a "prophecy" in which she thought that killing the youngsters was the only way to save them. She also thought that would somehow kill Satan, he said.

The defense must show that Yates meets the state's legal definition of insanity. That is, that because of a severe mental disease or defect, she did not know at the time of the offense that it was wrong.

Her attorneys said the first witnesses to testify will be the jail psychiatrist who talked to Yates shortly after her arrest and another psychiatrist who treated her while she was behind bars, according to the AP.

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