- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 27, 2002

HOUSTON (AP) Andrea Yates suffered from schizophrenia and didn't know right from wrong when she drowned her five children in June, a psychologist testified yesterday at her capital murder trial.
"Mrs. Yates was severely ill and in the course of an acute psychotic episode," Dr. George Ringholz said in his second day on the witness stand. "She did not know the actions she took on that day were wrong."
Dr. Ringholz, a neuropsychologist from Baylor College of Medicine testifying for the defense, said his determination was based on research culled from her medical and family history and tests he conducted on the 37-year-old woman.
The testimony of Dr. Ringholz is key to the defense, which must convince jurors Mrs. Yates was insane when her children were drowned. Prosecutors argue Mrs. Yates was sane at the time of the killings.
Mrs. Yates is on trial for two counts of capital murder. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the deaths of 7-year-old Noah, 5-year-old John and 6-month-old Mary. Charges eventually could be filed in the deaths of Paul, 3, and Luke, 2.
On Monday, Dr. Ringholz said Mrs. Yates's schizophrenia began during childhood and surfaced initially after giving birth to her first son, Noah, in 1994 when she considered grabbing a knife and stabbing the child.


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