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04/11/2002 - Updated 10:03 AM ET

Yates' relatives want doctor charged

By Laura Parker, USA TODAY

Andrea Yates' mother and brothers asked prosecutors Wednesday to file criminal charges of negligence against a psychiatrist who treated the Houston homemaker in the weeks before she drowned her children. Yates' relatives say Mohammad Saeed, a psychiatrist at the Devereux Texas Treatment Network in a Houston suburb, improperly medicated her with strong psychotropic drugs that are known to cause mania, anxiety, impaired judgment, agitation and aggressive reaction."We feel that our family would still be whole today if it were not for Dr. Saeed's terrible misconduct," Yates' relatives wrote to Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal.





Yates, 37, was sentenced last month to life imprisonment after jurors rejected her insanity plea and found her guilty of murdering her five children in the bathtub last June.

The two-page letter was delivered to Rosenthal's office by Yates' mother, Karin Kennedy, and her older brothers, Brian and Andrew Kennedy.

Saeed did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Yates was admitted to Devereux in April 2001 for 10 days and again in May for another 10-day stay.

Saeed testified at the trial that he found no evidence Yates was psychotic when he saw her two days before she drowned the children. He testified that he was removed as an administrator at Devereux after the drownings but still sees patients there.

Rosenthal also declined to comment. He said two weeks ago that he was investigating whether other people were "criminally culpable" in the deaths of the Yates children.

Speculation has been rampant in Houston since the verdict that others could be held responsible for events that led to the deaths, including Yates' husband, Russell.

But Rosenthal said, "Unless and until credible evidence ... is brought to my attention, no charges will be brought against him."

Former Harris County prosecutor Joe Porter said Wednesday that "it would be a stretch" for criminal charges to be filed against Saeed.

"Does it rise to a level of criminal negligence? That would be very, very difficult," Porter said.

Usually, issues over the quality of medical treatment are addressed in civil lawsuits. But Yates' family said they do not intend to sue. "It's not about money," Brian Kennedy said.