More than three years since his arrest, a former East Texas nurse will go to trial this morning on charges of killing four patients at a Tyler hospital.
William George Davis, 37, of Hallsville is charged with capital murder of multiple people after police said he intentionally and knowingly introduced air into patients’ arterial systems while he was a nurse at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital in Tyler, causing their deaths, according to 2018 and 2021 indictments.
The victims named in the documents are John Lafferty, Ronald Clark, Christopher Greenaway and Joseph Kalina.
Smith County District Attorney Jacob Putman said the presentation of evidence and witness testimony is expected to last four to six weeks.
Davis has been in the Smith County Jail since his April 2018 arrest on a bond of $8.75 million. He has been indicted on charges of capital murder, murder and five counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Officials believe Davis purposefully injected air into arterial lines of patients who were recovering from heart surgery. These injections caused the patients to have stroke-like symptoms.
Davis worked for Christus Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler for five years and was fired Feb. 15, 2018, about a week after hospital officials shared their concerns with police.
If found guilty of capital murder, a person either faces the death penalty or life in prison. In 2020, the Smith County District Attorney’s Office announced it intends to seek the death penalty in Davis’ case.
The indictment related to Kalina’s death was originally listed in connection with an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge in Davis’ case. Now, according to the recent indictment, on or about Jan. 25, 2018, Davis caused the death of Kalina by “introducing air into (Kalina’s) arterial system.”
The aggravated assault charges stem from accusations of causing injuries to Gary Parker, James Wages, Pamela Henderson and Rickie Glenn, other patients at the hospital who were at times in Davis’ care, according to indictments.
According to the arrest affidavit, hospital security footage showed Davis entering the room of three patients who suffered from stroke-like symptoms within minutes after he left their room.
Tyler police investigators used employee records to determine Davis was the only nurse assigned consistently to the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit during each of the incidents, the affidavit stated.
Davis’ nursing license was suspended during a meeting in March 2018 in Austin, according to a Texas Board of Nursing order.
Before coming to Mother Frances in Tyler, Davis worked for Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview from 2011 to 2013. Arrest affidavits show the offenses all occurred at Christus Mother Frances.