It took a Texas jury less than two hours this week to sentence a former nurse to death for killing four patients after they underwent heart surgery.
On Oct. 19, that same Smith County jury found William George Davis, 37, guilty of capital murder for injecting air into the arterial systems of John Lafferty, Ronald Clark, Christopher Greenaway and Joseph Kalina.
The deaths happened at Christus Mother Francis Hospital where Davis worked as a nurse between 2017 and 2018.
All of the victims died from unexplained neurological problems while in recovery.
During the trial prosecutors called Davis a “serial killer,” but his defense attorney argued that he was a victim of circumstance working with frail and extremely sick people.
On the same day that he was found guilty, Davis made a telephone call to his ex-wife from the Smith County Jail and told her he found ways to extend patients’ stays because he needed money, the Tyler Morning Telegraph reported.
He said sicker patients meant more overtime and more money for him, which he desperately needed.
Davis also said that the deaths were accidents.
“My intentions were never to hurt anybody. I wasn’t trying to kill anyone,” Davis said, according to the Telegraph.
It was just one of several recorded telephone calls between Davis and his former wife that jurors heard during the sentencing phase of the trial.
“I’m not a serial monster if that’s what you’re wondering. I’m not perfect,” Davis said, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph.
“I think he doesn’t feel regret. He doesn’t feel guilt or empathy for his victims. The only time he cried on the phone call or in court was for himself. I found it interesting the only time I observed him crying was when an expert was talking about what prison life was like,” Smith County District Attorney Jacob Putman said, according to the Longview News-Journal. “I’ve cried with these victims many times. Even today in victim impact (statements), I can’t listen to all these people and the suffering they’ve been through without it getting to me. And it doesn’t faze him.”
Putman also dismissed Davis’ claim that he never meant to hurt anyone.
“Even if that were true that he was somehow trying to prolong their illness, for someone to do that and then kill their patient and try again, you have to be the person who has no empathy,” Putman said according to the Journal. “To do that four times, that’s not the kind of person that’s just looking for extra shifts. It also contradicted the evidence. He said many times that he was working all the time and he was on every shift.”
A U.S. Secret Service agent also testified during the sentencing phase
He examined a laptop linked to Davis and told jurors that the user viewed “List of serial killers by number of victims,” in March 2018, a month before Davis was arrested, the Telegraph reported.
The death sentence will be automatically appealed.
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