HOUSTON – More than two years after Andrea Yates (search) was found guilty of drowning her children in a bathtub, her attorney appealed Friday in a challenge to Texas insanity law.
The appeal also detailed what defense attorneys said were 19 errors made during the trial, including the court's decision to admit the clothing the children wore at the time of their death and alleged false testimony by a prosecution expert witness.
The Harris County District Attorney's Office has 30 days to respond.
The appeal was delayed for months as Yates' family and attorneys worked to raise $49,500 to pay for a trial transcript.
Jurors rejected Andrea Yates' insanity defense and found her guilty of capital murder in March 2002. She was sentenced to life in prison for drowning three of her five children, who ranged in age from 6 months to 7 years. She was not tried in the deaths of the other two children. She will be eligible for parole in 2041.
Psychiatrists testified that Yates suffered from schizophrenia (search) and postpartum depression (search), but defense and prosecution expert witnesses disagreed over the severity of her illness and whether it prevented her from knowing that drowning her children was wrong — the two requirements to be declared legally insane in Texas.
Yates remains jailed at a prison psychiatric facility.
Her husband, Russell Yates, continues working at the Johnson Space Center and is trying to sell the one-story brown brick home where his children were killed.
Yates declined to comment Friday on his wife's appeal.