Russell Yates Wants to Start New Family

Newly divorced Russell Yates (search) said in a newspaper interview that he is ready to move on with life and might like to start another family.

Yates finalized his divorce last month from his wife, Andrea, three years after she was sentenced to life in prison for drowning their children.

'We still care about each other ... (but) I couldn't live that way,' Yates, 40, said in an interview in Thursday editions of The Dallas Morning News.

The NASA (search) engineer says nothing will completely erase his feelings for his mentally ill wife or the scars of the June 2001 tragedy, which claimed the life of their five young children.

Andrea Yates (search), 40, was sentenced to life in prison for three of the deaths, but the capital murder convictions were overturned in January. A panel of the First Court of Appeals in Houston sided with her lawyers, who contended false testimony from a prosecution expert witness influenced the jury. Yates claimed she was insane at the time of the drownings.

Prosecutors have asked the full appeals court to reconsider.

"I'm kind of in a phase where ... I'm through, I think, a lot of the healing and at a point where I'm starting to look more to the future," Russell Yates said in the interview.

Yates, who has a new assignment with NASA as project manager for development of a sensor to detect damage on the space shuttle, talks of earning a master's degree in software engineering.

He's dating, though he declined to give details. He said he might eventually remarry and have more children.

"I have the freedom now," he said. "I'd like to do that someday and possibly have a family again. ... But I'm not 20. I'm 40. So I have to reassess where I'm at, what I have to offer."

Yates received public criticism related to the tragedy. Some, for example, blamed him for housing his family in a bus for a while, and getting her pregnant again after her first postpartum illness.

The critics "don't know what we went through," Yates said, repeating that he did the best he could with what he knew at the time.

"I've never put a lot of blame on myself," he said. "There's certainly some things I'd do differently (but) the same way I'm able to forgive others I forgive myself for things I may have missed."

Some of Andrea Yates' relatives have also placed blame on Russell Yates, holding him partly responsible for his wife's deterioration. But her brother, Patrick Kennedy, says he wishes Yates well.

"I'm a Christian, and so is Rusty," Kennedy said. "I forgive whatever shortcomings he had towards my sister, and I hope my mom does to."