TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The lead defense attorney for a former CHRISTUS nurse convicted last year of murdering several patients pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to soliciting prostitution during the death penalty trial.

Phillip Hayes pleaded guilty to the state jail felony before 7th District Court Judge Kerry Russell. He was arrested back in November days after the high-profile trial concluded.

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 says that 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 would have been the sixth day of testimony for the prosecution.

Detectives identified Hayes by searching his telephone number through law enforcement databases. It also revealed that he drove a 2020 black Land Rover Defender.

The warrant alleges that Hayes texted the officer to meet at a predetermined location at 6 p.m. and agreed to pay $110. The warrant did not specify where he asked to meet.

Deputies took Hayes into custody and took him away for an interview. The department decided that since Hayes was in the middle of the trial, an arrest warrant would be issued at a later date.

Davis was convicted of capital murder by a Smith County jury on Oct. 19 and he was sentenced to death on Oct. 27.