Report: Four jurors say a Texas mother's drowning of her children seemed premeditated - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Report: Four jurors say a Texas mother's drowning of her children seemed premeditated

Updated:
HOUSTON (AP) _ Four jurors who voted to convict Andrea Yates of capital murder said the way she drowned her children in the family bathtub seemed premeditated and methodical.

The jurors, only identified by first names, talked about the deliberations in an interview with ``Dateline NBC'' that aired Sunday night. They served on the 12-member panel that last week found Yates guilty in the deaths of three of the five children and recommended she be sentenced to life in prison.

The jury's recommended sentence was expected to be formalized Monday by State District Judge Belinda Hill.

Jill, a social worker who served on the jury, said as Yates explained to police how she drowned the children, it seemed as if she was ``thinking pretty clearly.''

One of the jurors pointed to Yates' decision the night before to drown the children and the organized manner in which she went about holding each child beneath the water's surface before calling in the next.

When she finished, Yates called police.

``She was able to describe what she did ... I felt like she knew exactly what she was doing, and she knew it was wrong, or she would not have called the police,'' said Roy, a math teacher and juror.

The four jurors said they started by considering what they found to be the most compelling evidence _ the videotaped confession to police and photographs of the children, alive and dead.

Yates faced the death penalty based on the two capital murder convictions for the June 20 drowning deaths of Noah, 7, John, 5, and 6-month-old Mary. Evidence also was presented about the deaths of Paul, 3, and Luke, 2.

Yates, 37, will have to spend at least 40 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole.

The jurors said they believed Yates was mentally ill, an opinion shared by both the prosecution and the defense, but they also believed that she knew right from wrong _ a key element in determining whether a defendant meets the legal definition of insanity.

``Andrea Yates, herself in her interviews, said she knew it was wrong in the eyes of society,'' Jill said. ``She knew it was wrong in the eyes of God, and she knew it was illegal. And, you know, I don't know what wrong means if all those three things aren't factored in.''

Roy said the children's deaths were a greater factor than Yates' mental illness during deliberations.

``A lot of people want you to have sympathy for her and feel sorry for her,'' said Roy, who has a daughter the same age as Noah, Yates' 7-year-old son. ``And that's OK, but you cannot forget those children.''

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