Former Texas Nurse Sentenced to Death by 4 Heart Patients – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

TYLER, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) A Texas jury has convicted a former nurse on Tuesday, Oct. 19, of manslaughter in the deaths of four patients who died after prosecutors say he injected them with air after heart surgery.

The Smith County Jury discussed for about an hour before finding William George Davis, of Hallsville, guilty of manslaughter involving several victims.

William George Davis mugshot (Smith County Jail)

Prosecutors planned to seek the death penalty during the sentencing phase, which is scheduled to begin Wednesday.

Davis, 37, was charged with injecting air into the arteries of the four patients after undergoing heart surgery at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler in 2017 and 2018.

During recovery from their operations, the four – John Lafferty, Ronald Clark, Christopher Greenway and Joseph Kalina – suffered unexplained neurological problems and died.

During the trial, Dr. William Yarbrough, a pulmonologist in the Dallas area and professor of internal medicine to the jury, how injecting air into the brain’s arterial system causes brain damage and death.

Yarbrough said he was able to establish that there was air in the victims’ arterial brain system by looking at images from brain scans – something he said he had never observed before in his decades in medicine.

He ruled out blood pressure problems or other causes of death in addition to air injection and said it must have happened after the surgeries because the complications occurred while the patients were recovering.

Defense attorney Phillip Hayes told the jury that the hospital was in trouble and that Davis was a scapegoat who was only charged because he was there when the deaths occurred.

Prosecutor Chris Gatewood said in closing arguments that Davis “liked killing people.”

And prosecutor Jacob Putnam said the hospital had not changed any of its procedures and had not had similar incidents since Davis left.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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