SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KETK) The Hallsville man and former nurse at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances in Tyler convicted of killing multiple patients back in 2017 and 2018 has been sentenced to death by a Smith County jury.
William George Davis, 37, worked in the hospital’s cardiovascular ICU wing and was found guilty last week of capital murder of multiple persons.
The case was beset for years with delays from the pandemic, changes in attorneys and other reasons.
The case was prosecuted by Smith County District Attorney Jacob Putman who inherited the case after his contested election in 2018. It has been arguably the most high-profile trial East Texas has seen in at least a decade.
On Wednesday, Putman held a press conference after the conclusion of the trial, and he made remarks about the jury’s decision.
“We’re obviously very thankful for their verdict. We respect their verdict. We’re very grateful that’s what they saw in the evidence. That’s what we thought was the appropriate outcome, and it’s the most severe penalty we have.”
The case was decided by a 12-person jury, comprised of five white men, one Hispanic man and six white women.
Putman was asked about how long the jury took to deliberate before convicting Davis and he responded, “I don’t know why they deliberated a short amount of time, but if I had to guess it would be the case that the detectives put together was so strong. It didn’t leave a doubt in their mind.”
Putman’s team of prosecutors called dozens of witnesses over nearly three weeks from victims’ family members, surgeons and nurses, that treated the four victims: Chris Greenway, Joseph Kalina, John Lafferty, and Ronald Clark.
Davis’ legal team faced an uphill battle due to a large number of victims in the case as well as phone calls that were placed by Davis from jail last week where he admitted to killing patients to his ex-wife and berated the jury to his brother. These calls took place just hours after the verdict and were played for the jury to hear Friday afternoon.