TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Prosecutors for Smith County are seeking plans for an alternate jury selection site for the long-anticipated trial of William Davis, the former CHRISTUS nurse accused of murdering patients.
In a brief five-minute hearing Monday morning, Smith County District Attorney Jacob Putman said that with Harvey Hall being torn down later this summer, an alternate plant would be needed to summon the hundreds of potential jurors needed to pull from for a capital murder trial.
He suggested that an alternative could be having multiple small sessions in the central courthouse jury room rather than one large pool.
114th District Court Judge Austin Reeves Jackson also officially disclosed in open court that his mother works for CHRISTUS, but did not say in what capacity. Both prosecutors and defense lawyers agreed that it would not be a problem for the trial.
Davis, 37, was arrested back in August 2018 and had been fired back in February of that year by CHRISTUS Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital. The official reason was for “falsification of care events and his unethical practice related to failure to disclose interventions provided.”
A later investigation by hospital staff and police revealed that it was likely a crime had occurred with the injury and death of several patients that were considered “statistical anomalies.”
Putman announced last year that he would be seeking the death penalty in the case. The trial is currently set for jury selection to begin in late July.
On March 16, 2018, the Texas Board of Nursing issued a Temporary Suspension Order against Davis, citing cases in which the board determined Davis was a “continuing and imminent threat to the public welfare.”
The arrest affidavit details the deaths and injuries of seven patients:
- 1) John Doe 1, 61 – injured June 22, 2017
- 2) John Doe 2, 58 – injured July 14, 2017
- 3) Christopher Greenaway, 47 – injured August 4, 2017, died August 8, 2017
- 4) John Doe 3, 54, – injured August 7, 2017
- 5) John Doe 4, 56 – injured October 26, 2017
- 6) Pamela Henderson, 63 – injured November 30, 2017
- 7) Joseph Kalina, 58 – injured January 25, 2018
All were identified as patients who underwent cardiovascular surgery and were recovering in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) at Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital, “when they suddenly experienced a profound incident,” according to the affidavit.
The warrant also alleges that Davis intentionally introduced air into the patients’ arterial lines. The document claims that this action caused Greenway’s death, the death of another patient, and “permanent and debilitating” injuries to the others listed.
The affidavit says that security footage showed Davis entering the patients’ rooms and leaving. Almost immediately after, they would suffer a “profound incident” despite being considered stable after surgery.
After a one-week trial, he was sentenced to death after the jury deliberated for 45 minutes.