Texas nurse convicted of capital murder in 4 patients’ deaths

TYLER, Texas — A former Texas nurse was found guilty Tuesday of murdering four patients during his tenure with a Tyler heart hospital.

It took the Smith County jury less than one hour to convict William Davis of capital murder after the prosecution argued that he killed his victims by injecting air into their arterial lines, KLTV reported.

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Davis, 37, was found guilty in the deaths of patients John Lafferty, Ronald Clark, Christopher Greenaway and Joseph Kalina while they were patients at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital, the Tyler Morning Telegraph reported.

All four patients had been reportedly recovering well from heart surgeries between June 2017 and January 2018, when they inexplicably crashed, KLTV reported.

“With the facts that we have, with the evidence that we have, a serial killer being in the hospital is the only thing that makes sense,” Prosecutor Chris Gatewood stated during his closing argument, according to the TV station.

Smith County District Attorney Jacob Putman was even more direct.

“(Davis) killed these four patients. He did it on purpose. He did it by injecting air into their arterial lines. There’s no other way,” said Smith County District Attorney Jacob Putman.

Meanwhile, Davis’ lead defense attorney Phillip Hayes argued that his client’s only crime was lying to hospital administrators when he was questioned about documentation of patient declines.

“And if they want to charge him with being dishonest, okay, we’ll deal with that issue. But being dishonest does not make you a murderer, does not make you a killer or a serial killer,” Hayes said, KLTV reported.

The punishment phase of Davis’ trial is slated to begin Wednesday morning, and he faces a sentence of either life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty, the Tyler Morening Telegraph reported.

According to the newspaper, Davis was initially changed in April 2018 with capital murder, murder and five counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The charges came two months after Christus Mother Frances Hospital fired him for “falsifying care events and unethical practice related to failure to disclose interventions provided that may have impacted the outcome of a patient.”

Davis’ nursing license was suspended in March 2018 through a Texas Board of Nursing order, the newspaper reported.

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