Nurse found guilty of killing four patients by injecting them with air

Prosecutors plan to seek death penalty for William George Davis on Wednesday

Sravasti Dasgupta
Wednesday 20 October 2021 13:45
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A Texas court has convicted a nurse of capital murder after the jury found him guilty of injecting air into the arteries of four patients, leading to their death.

William George Davis was accused of injecting air into the arteries of John Lafferty, Ronald Clark, Christopher Greenway and Joseph Kalina in 2017 and 2018, when they were recovering from heart surgeries at the Christus Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler city. The four patients suffered neurological problems during their recovery and died.

Davis’ attorney Phillip Hayes claimed that he was being made a scapegoat by the hospital.

Prosecutors Chris Gatewood and Jacob Putman told the jury during the trial that the hospital had no bias against Davis, who was even recommended for other jobs. The prosecutors claimed that Davis liked to kill people, reported local newspaper Tyler Morning Telegraph. The prosecutors added that no such incident had occurred in the hospital since Davis left.

Davis, 37, was fired from the hospital in 2018, where he had worked as a nurse for five years. He was arrested the same year on charges of capital murder and five counts of aggravated assault.

During the trial, Dallas-area pulmonologist Dr William Yarbrough testified against Davis and ruled out blood pressure problems or other issues as the cause of death. He said that the victims’ brain scans showed air in the arterial system, something that he had not seen before in his career. This led to the patients’ brain injuries and death.

While the trial began on 28 September, the Smith County jury of 12 deliberated for only an hour on Tuesday before concluding that Davis was guilty of capital murder. The sentencing phase is set to begin on Wednesday, when prosecuting lawyers plan to seek the death penalty for Davis.

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