He had been given their care when they were most vulnerable, but prosecutors say William Davis secretly preyed on recovering cardiac patients at a Texas hospital where he worked as a nurse by injecting air into their arteries .
Four patients Mr Davis later injected have died, their once-encouraging conditions rapidly deteriorating and baffling doctors, authorities said. He had injected at least seven patients in all, they said.
On Tuesday, a jury in Tyler, Texas convicted Davis of capital murder in the deaths of all four men after deliberating for about an hour. The verdict was confirmed by Kaylee Hahn, administrator of the 114th District Court, who said the sentencing phase of the trial would begin on Wednesday.
Prosecutors were seeking the death penalty for Mr Davis, 37, who worked for Christus Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler when patients experienced complications after heart surgery in 2017 and 2018. He was fired about a year and a half ago. months before his arrest in April. 2018. Tyler is approximately 100 miles east of Dallas.
During the trial, prosecutors presented a portrait of Mr Davis as a sadistic caregiver who crept into patients’ rooms as no one was watching and ‘enjoyed’ injecting air into their lines. arteries, which caused fatal brain damage.
Doctors were unable to explain what could have gone wrong until, according to authorities, they saw CT scans that showed air in patients’ brains. During the trial, prosecutors released footage from security cameras showing Mr Davis entering the bedroom of one of the patients. Three minutes later, the patient’s heart monitor alarm sounded. He later passed away.
“It turns out that a hospital is the perfect place to hide from a serial killer,” Smith County District Attorney Jacob Putman said during the trial.
The victims were: Ronald Clark, 68; Christopher Greenaway, 47; Joseph Kalina, 58 years old; and John Lafferty, 74.
The Smith County District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on Tuesday due to ongoing sentencing proceedings in the trial, which began on September 28.
Phillip Hayes, an attorney for Mr. Davis, who lives in Hallsville, Texas, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
During the trial, Mr Hayes argued that all of the patients who died showed signs of stroke, a type of stroke that occurs when vulnerable border areas of the brain supplied by the three main arteries of the brain do not receive enough blood. . Calling Mr Davis a scapegoat, Mr Hayes also said patients had underlying health issues before they died.
“I don’t know if there is any evidence to show it was a criminal act,” Hayes said during the trial.
A spokesperson for Christus Mother Frances Hospital said in an emailed statement Wednesday that protecting the health and well-being of patients remains a top priority, in addition to “expanding the healing ministry of Jesus Christ”.
“The jury’s decision brings with it a range of emotions for our associates and – most notably – the individuals and families injured by Will Davis,” said the spokesperson. “We pray for our community and everyone involved, and hope the jury’s verdict will help bring an end to those injured.”
Mr. Davis remains in custody at Smith County Jail on $ 8.75 million bail.
Jesus jiménez contributed reports.