HOUSTON – The husband of Andrea Yates (search), who drowned the couple's five children in a bathtub, finalized their divorce Thursday in an agreement that gives her $7,000 in cash, a nursing chair and rights to be buried near the children.
Under the decree, Andrea Yates also will receive part of Russell Yates' (search) retirement benefits from his employment at NASA. The Clear Lake house where the family lived has been sold.
Andrea Yates, 40, was sentenced to life in prison for three of the 2001 drowning deaths, but the capital-murder convictions were overturned in January. An appeals court panel sided with her lawyers, who contended false testimony from a prosecution expert witness influenced the jury to convict in 2002.
Prosecutors have asked the full appeals court to reconsider.
Attorneys for Andrea and Russell Yates appeared briefly in state District Court. Each agreed to the decree.
Andrea Yates' attorney, John O'Sullivan, told The Associated Press that his client wasn't happy about the divorce but "she has come to terms with it and knows Rusty needs to go on with his life. She just wants to get it behind her."
Russell Yates' attorney, David Salinsky (search), said his client still "cares very much for Andrea" and that he found the divorce "very difficult." She remains at a psychiatric prison, and he still visits her, Salinsky said.
Yates had requested the glider rocker, a style generally used for nursing babies, and the burial rights.
The family has seven plots — five for the children and one each for Russell and Andrea Yates. Salinsky said it isn't clear if his client will be buried next to his former wife. "Nobody ever knows what the future is going to hold," Salinsky said.
The children were found dead after a wet and bedraggled Andrea Yates called police to her home and showed them the bodies of John, 5; Paul, 3; Luke, 2; and Mary, 6 months. Police later discovered Noah, 7, floating face down in the tub's murky brown water.
According to testimony, Yates was overwhelmed by motherhood, considered herself a bad parent, had attempted suicide and had been hospitalized for depression and psychotic episodes.
At the prison, Yates works in the commissary three days a week and performs general housekeeping duties, said Texas Department of Criminal Justice (search) spokesman Mike Viesca.
O'Sullivan said she is mentally stable but "forever scarred."
"The important thing is she is stable with her medicine and she is able to cope with things," he said. "She looks better than she has ever looked."