The Houston mother convicted of drowning her children in a bathtub may be heading for a new trial. Earlier this year, an appeals court overturned Andrea Yates' capitol murder convictions because of false testimony from Dr. Park Dietz. Dr. Dietz was a prosecution witness who said Yates may have been influenced by the an episode of the show "Law and Order" that didn't exist. Today, a higher court upheld that ruling. Prosecutors must now decide whether to retry Yates, who had been serving a life sentence.
We talked to both Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham and defense attorney Buck Files on what the decision means to the case. F.R. ''Buck'' Files, Jr., Defense Attorney, says, "The court of appeals is very critical to Dr. Park Deitz who had clearly given erroneous information in his testimony on behalf of the state, he was the only physiatrist who had supported the state's position that she was sane instead of insane, this option of the court is not a surprise to us." Matt Bingham, District Attorney of Smith County says, "I believe what Harris County District Attorney is doing is starting from point one and then how they ultimately resolve it I don't have any idea, but they are starting over from guilt to innocence, right now she is not guilty of it." Andrea Yates had a well-documented history of postpartum depression, and her attorneys argued that she suffered from postpartum psychosis.
On another note, Dr. Park Dietz also testified in the Deanna Laney murder trial in Smith County, but the fake "Law and Order" episode was not mentioned in her case. That means it has no effect.
Karolyn Davis, reporting. email@example.com
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