TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The lead defense attorney for William Davis, the serial killer former nurse with CHRISTUS who was convicted of murdering patients last year, was sentenced for trying to solicit a prostitute during the month-long trial on Thursday.
Phillip Hayes was sentenced to one year of deferred adjudicated probation. The sentence includes a $1,000 fine due in the next 30 days along with various court and prosecution costs. He will also have to perform 80 hours of community service and complete a life skills class.
Hayes requested the probation be transferred to Dallas County, which is where he lives. 7th District Judge Kerry Russell said Hayes would need to talk to the probation department, but he would have no problem approving it.
Hayes was arrested days after the high-profile trial of Davis concluded. While the charge is normally a state-jail felony, it was prosecuted as a Class A Misdemeanor.
The Smith County District Attorney’s Office recused itself from prosecuting the case due to their close work with Hayes during the Davis trial. The case was handled by Billy Byrd, the district attorney for Upshur County.
According to an arrest warrant obtained by KETK News at the time, an undercover deputy for the Smith County’s Sheriff’s Office posing as a prostitute made contact with Hayes in a text message.
The warrant said the sheriff’s office “posted advertisements on a website commonly used for human trafficking and prostitution.”
Hayes began to text the undercover officer on Oct. 5 between 3:13 p.m. and 5:59 p.m. This was the sixth day of testimony for the prosecution.
Detectives identified Hayes by searching his telephone number through law enforcement databases.
The warrant stated Hayes texted the officer to meet at a predetermined location at 6 p.m. and agreed to pay $110. The document did not specify where he asked to meet.
Deputies took Hayes into custody and took him away for an interview. The department decided since Hayes was in the middle of the trial, an arrest warrant would be issued at a later date.