Victoria Advocate from Victoria, Texas on January 31, 2002 · 4
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Victoria Advocate from Victoria, Texas · 4

Victoria, Texas
Issue Date:
Thursday, January 31, 2002
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4A-THE VICTORIA ADVOCATE, Thursday, January 3 1, 2002 Jury is. selected in child drownM www.VictoriaAdvocate.comi case HOUSTON (AP) Attorneys in the oase of a Houstdn mother accused of drowning her five children last summer agreed on three female alternates Wednesday, completing the jury panel that will determine Andrea ates' fate. Testimony in the capital murder case of the 37-year-old is scheduled to begin Feb. 18. Yates faces two capital murder charges for the drowning deaths of tree of her five children, who ranged in age from 7 years to 6 months. Charges are pending in the deaths of her other two children, aged 3 and 2. "We have the burden here ... in representing Ms. Yates to prove that on the 20th of June, Andrea Yates was cpmpletely insane," defense attorney deorge Parnham said as he questioned a woman, who was selected as the first alternate Wednesday. "You will be exposed to a difficult tale here," he said. "It will be difficult for everyone in this courtroom." Eight women and four men have been chosen to sit in judgment of Yates, who police say methodically drowned her five children one-by-one in the family's bathtub. She tucked the four youngest children's wet bodies into a bed in the back bedroom, a police officer testified at a pretrial hearing. The oldest, a 7-year-old boy, was found face down in the bathtub half filed with water after his mother dialed 911. Pohce amved at toe family's fir southeast Houston home, where AVidrea Yates answered the door, her clothes and hair wet, and told an officer she had killed her children. Prosecutors are seeking the death pjenalty. jDefense attorneys say Yates should lie found irmocent by reason of insanity. They point to two suicide attempts "This is going to be an amazing trip into the lives, hearts and minds of a family. Robert Wrschhorn, " trial consultant after the birth of her fourth child and a diagnosis of postpartum depression with psychosis. Yates' doctor at the time warned her and her husband against having more children. However, within a year of the warning, Yates was pregnant again. A doctor who treated Yates twice after the birth of her youngest child testified during a pretrial hearing that he took her off her psychotic medication less than a month before her children's deaths and changed her medication two days before the children's deaths. The doctor, Mohammad Saeed, said he saw no evidence of psychosis when Yates visited him in his office on June 18. "Whether a person is insane under the law is a different question than whether a person is insane in a medical doctor's opinion," Owmby told the third alternate chosen Wednesday In Texas, a defendant is sane unless proven insane by a preponderance of the evidence or the greater weight of credible evidence. To prove insanity, defense attorneys must show that "at the time of the conduct charged the defendant, as a result of a severe mental disease or defect, did not know that her conduct was wrong," according to Texas law. Jurors first will be presented evidence to help them determine if Yates is guilty of the charges she faces. Then they'll hear from the defense, which contends a severe mental disease kept her from knowing the difference between right and wrong. If jurors determine Yates did not know the difference between right and wrong because of a severe mental illness, Texas law says she must be found innocent by reason of insanity But if they decide Yates did know right from wrong at the time of her crime despite a severe mental illness, Texas law says she should be found guilty. If convicted, the same jury must decide if Yates receives life in prison or the death penalty. Jurors also have a third option to acquit her of the charges. Yates faces one charge of capital murder for the deaths of a son, 7, and a son, 5, and a second charge for a daughter, 6 months. In Texas, those convicted of a multiple murder or killing an infant are eligible for the death penalty. The other children killed were boys, ages3and2. "Jurors are going to find out what went on behind closed doors," said North Texas trial consultant Robert Hirschhorn. "This is going to be an amazing trip into the lives, hearts and minds of a family. They "are going to peer into a marital home and find out all that was right and all that was wrong." Former Baylor professor, wife lead guilty in child porn case WACO (AP) A former Baylor niversity professor and his wife ave pleaded guilty in a case involv ing child pornography. I Bruce S. Watson, 43, had been set for trial next week but pleaded guilty Tuesday to a third-degree felony count of possession of child ftorn.. Jessica Lynn Watson, 37, leaded guilty to one count of Class A misdemeanor obscenity. 1 Bruce Watson, a French professor nd a Baylor faculty member since 990, was indicted in September jOOO on 10 counts of possession of hild porn. Prosecutors dismissed nine founts and recommended a seven-year prison term for him. As part of toe deal, prosecutor Crawford Long old the judge that he neither would Recommend nor oppose Watson's probation request. Prosecutors dismissed five felony counts against Jessica Watson and recommended placing her on deferred misdemeanor probation for two years. A sentencing date was not set. Baylor suspended Watson after his arrest in June 2000. University spokesman Larry Brumley said Tuesday that Watson has not worked there "for some time" but would not say if he was fired or resigned. Jessica Watson is a former part-time English instructor and graduate student at Baylor, school officials said. The Watsons and their attorneys declined comment Tuesday. After the Watsons' arrests and suspensions, McDonald told the Waco Tribune-Herald that it was a "travesty of justice" that his clients could be ruined "by the mere accusation of something that ultimately will have a completely innocent explanation." Authorities were called after a Baylor computer technician discovered more than 200 images of nude children, some having sex, while converting files from Bruce Watson's old computer to his new computer, according to records. Authorities say the couple displayed framed photographs of nude children in their home. Police reported finding photos of nude children downloaded off the Internet, dozens of sexually explicit videotapes and a large stack of foreign magazines and books that depict nude children, officials said. Police recover millions in traffic stop dvocate Staff Report REFUGIO Refugio police recovered $2.8 million in suspected drug money early Tuesday morning when they stopped a truckload of furniture headed for the Rio Grande Valley. Chief Chris Brock said an officer stopped a Penske moving truck at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday on U.S. Highway 77 and Farm-to-Market Road 774 in Refugio. He said the officer had' intended to issue a warning be cause the truck did not have a license plate light. But in questioning the driver and passenger, the officer became suspicious and asked for permission to search the truck. About an hour later, Brock said, the money was found in a secret compartment under a couch. He said the money was in all de nominations. Police arrested Mario Rodriguez, 30, of Pharr, and Hector Martinez, 27, of Donna, on charges of money laundering. They remained in toe Refugio County Jail in lieu $1 million bond, each. : . : r -.J Refugio County Family & Child Care Auto Accidents Work Related Accidents Most Insurances Accepted New Patients Welcome Victoria Chiropractic Clinic Dr. Justin C. Perish, D.C. 2004 Patterson Victoria 578-9966 Man convicted of fatally stabbing his wife and stepson is executed HUNTSVILLE (AP) A parolee convicted of killing his wife and stepson in a bloody stabbing rampage almost 10 years ago was executed Wednesday night "I just want to let everyone know this here is a tragedy," Windell Broussard, 41, told those witnessing his execution. "What happened to Dianna, what happened to Corey, what's happening to me, it's a tragedy." As he looked at his spiritual adviser, Broussard whispered, "Here I am Lord. I have come to do your wilL" He expelled a short gasp and a longer, louder gasp before closing his eyes. Four relatives of his slain wife, Dianna, witnessed the execution, staring straight at Broussard and show-ingnoemotioa He was pronounced dead at 6:20 p jn., eight minutes after the flow of lethal drugs began. Before saying his last words, Broussard briefly made eye contact with his wife's relatives before smiling and nodding his head at his spiritual adviser and a friend. Broussard is toe third condemned Texas inmate to be executed this year and the first of two this week. Broussard, who was on parole for robbery and also had a kidnapping conviction on his record, was condemned for the fatal stabbing of his wife, Dianna, 28, and her 10-year-old son, Corey Harris, whose bodies were found in the yard of their Port Arthur home. Both were slashed repeatedly although they died of fatal heart wounds. Another child, Toccara Harris, 9, was seriously wounded in toe April 24, 1992, attacks but survived and identified Broussard as toe knife-wielding intruder who came into their home as they slept "It was horrible, horrible," Wendell Radford, the Jefferson County assistant district attorney who prosecuted Broussard, said tluVweek. "He had slashed the hell out of them. . Attorneys for toe former foreman at a waste oil transfer company 3 Broussard asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt toe lethal injection, but the high'' court rejected the plea about three hours before toe punishment was to take place. Besides the testimony from the1 stepdaughter, Broussard's aunt testified he came home the night of the', killings, wearing only his under-. J wear. He jumped up and down ana; told her he "did something." . "I killed somebody," he said. ' A cap from the company where ' Broussard worked along with a pack of cigarettes he smoked were recov-'. ered from toe scene. t Broussard,' in an interview last,-week on death row, acknowledged he and his wife were having marital problems and that he was living J elsewhere but denied any involve- ment in toe slayings. The couple had ive always, rrom uie very De ginning, said I didn't do it," he said.' "Why feel sorry for something you , didn't do? '( "I don't owe anybody any apology. I think I'm owed some justice. I believe in the system but sometimes , it's not fair. The system should be ( able to sort these things out." r A Ji L. . i . " v V if 1 JLiJi rVAt I 4 ' lV- , - .11 1 I H , H g? ( it J1 , , - . v ' i , I 1 V ' -., .."w, -' h M 11 STAINMASTER' Xtra Life' carpet Choose from more than 4,000 colors, styles and textures from top name brands like: MOHAWK coroni:t WEAR-DSTED2 CARPET February 1 through March 3, 2002. 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