Andrea Yates: More To The Story

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Andrea Yates gives a tight-lipped smile to her defense attorney

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Alone in their empty house where he still lives, Rusty has thought about the future of their marriage. He worries about how they will ever be able to look at each other. Will the other person be a constant reminder of their loss? For a while, Rusty told TIME, he had hoped that she might someday return to Beachcomber Lane and they could resume their life together. But he has talked to psychiatrists who say it would be too traumatic for her to come back to the house where the kids died.

After the deaths, it might have been difficult for Rusty to imagine life without her or the kids. He did not doubt that his devotion would remain strong. As the weeks turned into months, however, his perspective changed. Perhaps he will get a divorce. Maybe someday he will have kids again. He will always support her, he says. But he has begun to question what will become of their relationship. And he has begun to wonder what will become of Andrea without him.

"I can't carry her through life," Rusty told TIME. "That's too great a burden to bear. I need her to walk on her own. I can hold her hand, but I can't carry her."

But it is unlikely that Rusty will ever hold her hand again.

Andrea will move from the Harris County Jail in Houston to a state prison known as Mountain View Unit in the scrubby rolling hills of Central Texas. There, she will be kept in protective custody because of her ongoing mental problems and possible threats from other inmates. She will be allowed no visitors.

Unless she needs intensive psychiatric care, the mother who only last year baked chocolate chip cookies and took her sons to ball games in the park will eventually mingle with the general population at the prison known for housing some of the toughest, meanest women in Texas. While inmates can greet and say goodbye to 10 visitors with a kiss and an embrace, prison officials doubt that Andrea will get those privileges when Rusty goes to see her. And, they say, conjugal visits will be strictly forbidden.

With reporting by Deborah Fowler/Houston, Hilary Hylton/Austin and Anne Berryman/Atlanta

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