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Yates: Still heard Satan after killings

Yates was convicted in March.
Yates was convicted in March.  

HOUSTON, Texas (CNN) -- Convicted child killer Andrea Yates told a psychiatrist she continued to hear messages from Satan more than a month after she drowned her five children in a bathtub, a tape released Wednesday revealed.

On the videotape, recorded in July and released Wednesday, Yates told defense psychiatrist Dr. Laura Puryear she believed she needed to be punished and that Satan was still trying to send her messages, possibly through music.

Yates said Satan told her to kill her children because she wasn't raising them correctly.

"I was listening to the radio and they were playing some music in my cell," Yates said. "I heard a voice through the music."

"What did it say?" Puryear asked.

"I can't remember," Yates said. Puryear asked Yates if she thought the voices were from Satan. Yates nodded yes.

Yates also said she continued to have thoughts about suicide.

The Texas woman was sentenced to life in prison after a jury convicted her in March on two counts of murder for the June 2001 drownings of her 6-month-old daughter Mary, and her sons Noah, 7, and John, 5. The charges did not cover the deaths of her two other sons, Paul, 3, and Luke, 2, who were also drowned.

In a prosecution interview tape released last week, Yates said Noah entered the room after she had drowned Mary and said, "Mommy, what's wrong with Mary?"

Noah then asked, "Have I been a bad boy?" Yates recalled.

Asked if the children struggled during the drownings, Yates nodded her head yes.

Yates pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the one-by-one killings. Her attorneys argued she was severely mentally ill and suffered from psychosis when she drowned her children. Prosecutors said she was mentally ill, but still knew that her actions were wrong.

Under Texas law, defendants can be declared not guilty by reason of insanity only if it is determined they did not know right from wrong at the time of the crime.

Yates will be eligible for parole in 40 years.




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