Texas ‘serial killer’ nurse is convicted of murdering 4 patients by injecting air into their arteries after heart surgery



Syringes sit on a table during open heart surgery.
In this Nov. 28, 2016 photo, syringes sit on a table during an open heart surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
  • A jury found a Texas nurse guilty of murdering four Texas hospital patients.

  • Prosecutors said William George Davis injected air into the patients’ arteries after heart surgery.

  • Davis’ sentencing hearing starts Wednesday and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

A jury on Tuesday found a Texas nurse guilty of capital murder for injecting air into the arteries of four heart surgery patients.

At trial, the defense team for William George Davis argued he was just a nurse who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, according to The Associated Press. Prosecutors described Davis to the jury as a serial killer.

“It turns out a hospital is the perfect place for a serial killer to hide,” prosecutor Jacob Putman told the jury, as quoted by the AP.

Prosecutors said that in 2017 and 2018, Davis injected air into the arteries of John Lafferty, Ronald Clark, Christopher Greenway, and Joseph Kalina after they underwent heart surgery at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler, Texas, the AP reported. All four patients experienced unexplained neurological problems after their surgeries, which resulted in their deaths.

Davis’s defense argued that the hospital was using him as a scapegoat for patient deaths, based on the testimony of University of Texas Health Tyler emergency physician Dr. John Schnell, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph. Schnell testified that it was anatomically impossible for air to flow against blood.

Dallas area pulmonologist Dr. William Yarbrough testified for the prosecution that he was able to observe arterial damage in the brains of the four victims on brain scans, something he said he has never seen before in his practice, the AP reported.

Mugshot of William George Davis.

William George Davis. Smith County Jail/Associated Press

According to Yarbrough, it would be impossible to determine blood pressure problems or any other cause of death for the victims other than the injection of air into their arteries.

Capital murder charges in Texas carry penalties of death or life in prison, and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Davis, according to the Telegraph.

The sentencing phase of Davis’ trial begins Wednesday morning.

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