- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 20, 2002

HOUSTON (AP) Andrea Yates called her husband at work after drowning her five children in the bathtub to say she "finally did it," testified Sgt. David Svahn, the first officer to encounter Russell Yates as the young father ran up to the house.
"He was screaming and hollering," Sgt. Svahn told the jury yesterday in Mrs. Yates' capital murder trial. "He was saying, 'What did she do to my kids? What did she do to my kids?'"
Sgt. Svahn said he had the grim task of informing Mr. Yates that his children, ages 6 months to 7 years, were dead.
"At that point he fell to the ground and began hitting his hand on the ground," Sgt. Svahn said. The father then picked up a plastic chair from the yard and threw it, the officer said.
Andrea Yates, 37, is charged with murder and could face the death penalty.
She has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
Mrs. Yates' extensive medical records detail her bouts with depression and two suicide attempts. They also show her fear that she might hurt someone and a doctor's caution that the couple reconsider having more children.
On June 20, Russell Yates "said his wife had called him at work and told him it was time to come home," Sgt. Svahn testified. "His wife told him she had hurt all five of the kids and that she finally did it."
The jury yesterday was also shown the pajamas the five children wore that day, including the purple sleeper worn by their 6-month-old daughter, Mary, and the blue-and-white pajamas worn by her brother, Noah, 7.


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