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Competence of Suspect in Drownings to Be Assessed

September 19, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

A jury of 11 women and one man was chosen in Houston to determine the mental competence of Andrea Yates, 37, charged with two counts of capital murder in the deaths of three of her five children who were drowned in the bathtub at their home in June.

Harris County Dist. Atty. Chuck Rosenthal has said his office will seek the death penalty. Texas prosecutors typically forgo multiple capital murder charges because only one conviction generally is needed for the maximum penalty.

The jury is scheduled to start hearing evidence this morning. Yates' attorneys say she is not guilty by reason of insanity.

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