Oct. 22, 2021 -- A Texas jury has convicted former nurse William Davis on four counts of capital murder in connection with the deaths of four men who’d had heart surgery.

Prosecutors argued that Davis would secretly enter patients’ rooms at Christus Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler and inject air into their arterial lines, resulting in fatal brain damage, The New York Timesreported.

The deaths surprised doctors because the patients had been recovering, but CT scans showed air in the patients’ brains, the Times said. Security camera video showed Davis slipping into the hospital room of one of the patients, whose heart monitor alarm sounded soon after. The patient later died.

In offering a motive, prosecutors said Davis liked killing people.

“He enjoyed going into the room and injecting people with air,” Smith County First Assistant District Attorney Chris Gatewood said during closing arguments, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

The defendant’s lawyer, Phillip Hayes, argued that all four patients had other medical conditions and showed signs of a “watershed stroke,” which occurs when border zones of the brain supplied by the three main cerebral arteries don’t get enough blood, according to the Times.

“I don’t know if there’s any evidence to show that it was foul play,” Hayes said, according to the Times.

Patients Ronald Clark, 68; Christopher Greenaway, 47; Joseph Kalina, 58; and John Lafferty, 74, died in 2017 and 2018 after heart surgery.

Davis, 37, was arrested in April 2018 and convicted by the jury on Tuesday. Sentencing starts Wednesday, and he could face the death penalty.

WebMD Health News Brief

Sources

The New York Times: “Texas Nurse Is Found Guilty of Killing 4 Patients by Injecting Them With Air.”

Tyler Morning Telegraph: “Jury finds ex-nurse guilty of capital murder for killing patients at Tyler hospital.”

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