A Texas jury sentenced a twisted nurse to death for killing four patients by injecting air into their arteries as they recovered from heart surgery.
William George Davis, 37, learned his fate Wednesday after jurors deliberated for less than two hours. He had faced life in prison without parole or the death penalty following his conviction last week on capital murder charges, the Tyler Morning Telegraph reported.
Davis did not react as the sentence was handed down, but got emotional when one victim’s widow said she forgave him in an impact statement read in court, the newspaper reported.
Davis, of Hallsville, was convicted of killing John Lafferty, Ronald Clark, Christopher Greenaway and Joseph Kalina at a Tyler hospital in 2017 and 2018 by injecting air into their arteries while he worked as a nurse.
Prosecutors played a recorded phone call Wednesday that Davis made from jail after he was found guilty on Oct. 19.
During the call, he told his ex-wife he prolonged patients’ stays in ICU to work longer hours and make extra money, the newspaper reported.
“My intentions were never to hurt anybody,” Davis told her. “I wasn’t trying to kill anyone.”
Davis also claimed the deaths of four men under his care were accidental, the newspaper reported.
But a month prior to Davis’ arrest in 2018, he started searching online to see if law enforcement officials were investigating a “possible serial killer” at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital, KYTX reported.
Prosecutors said the four men developed unexplained neurological problems as they recovered from surgery and later died.
Davis’ defense attorney insisted to jurors his client was a scapegoat who was only charged because he was only nurse on duty when the patients died.
The death sentence will be automatically appealed, KLTV reported.
Smith County District Attorney Jacob Putman told jurors during opening statements that the hospital hasn’t had any similar unexplained deaths since Davis’ arrest.
“No one expects this is going to happen to them — certainly not in a hospital,” Putman said. “It turns out a hospital is the perfect place for a serial killer to hide.”
With Post wires