Texas nurse who ‘liked to kill people’ could face death penalty for murder convictions

·1 min read

An East Texas nurse was convicted of capital murder in the deaths of four patients after injecting them with air following heart surgeries.

William George Davis, of Hallsville, was convicted after a Smith County jury deliberated for about an hour on Tuesday.

Davis, 37, was accused of injecting air into the arteries of four patients at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler in 2017 and 2018.

Prosecutors expect to seek the death penalty during the sentencing phase, which started Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.

During recovery from their surgeries, the four deceased — John Lafferty, Ronald Clark, Christopher Greenway and Joseph Kalina — suffered unexplained neurological problems and died.

Dallas-area pulmonologist Dr. William Yarbrough told the jury how injecting air into the arterial system of the brain causes brain injury and death. Yarbrough testified during the trial that he determined air was in the arterial system of the victims’ brains by viewing images from brain scans. It was something he said he had never observed in his decades in medicine.

Davis’ lawyer Phillip Hays argued the hospital had other issues and called his client a scapegoat who was only charged because he was on duty at the time of the deaths.

Prosecutor Chris Gatewood said during closing arguments that Davis “liked to kill people,” the AP reported. Prosecutors also told the jury that the hospital had changed none of its procedures and has no similar incidents since Davis left.

“He enjoyed going into the room and injecting people with air,” Gatewood said during the closing arguments.

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