Prosecution calls former nurse ‘serial killer’, defense says there is no motive and asks jury to keep open mind

William Davis Murder Trial

12:05 p.m.

Prosecutors have passed their questioning of Dr. Sulser over to the defense team.

Judge Austin Jackson has sent the trial to recess for a lunch break. The trial will resume around 1:15 p.m.

11:58 a.m.

Dr. Sulser said that he “never could imagine” someone in medicine intentionally causing harm to a patient such as blowing air into an arterial line.”

11:47 a.m.

Dr. Sulser said he was shocked when he heard the next day that something had gone wrong with Greenway. He said Greenway had been fine the night before and was talking with the nurses.

When he saw Greenway’s CT scans, Sulser called it “devastating” and he had never seen so much air get inside a patient in his 37 years. He said if the air had gotten into Greenway during surgery, Sulser says he would have “absolutely not” woken up.

11:32 a.m.

Dr. Sulser says that in his 37-year career he has never seen a “significant amount” of air get into an arterial line that would be needed to cause the damage to Greenway.

11:20 a.m.

Dr. Sulser is demonstrating various medical equipment that would be used post-surgery. One piece uses saline to slowly drip into the arteries to keep clots from happening.

11:05 a.m.

Ms. Bedford’s testimony ended with no questions being asked by the defense for her.

The next witness called is Dr. Norman Soltzer, an anesthesiologist for CHRISTUS.

10:55 a.m.

Ms. Bedford said that friends told her leading up to the surgery that Greenway would not look good coming out of open-heart surgery.

“He looked fantastic. He was talking, we laughed,” she said. However, she was called back the next day saying something had happened.

“He was 100% different. Couldn’t communicate. Just laying there.” Ms. Greenway is fighting back tears while answering questions.

Greenway was pulled off life support three days after surgery so his organs could be donated.

10:47 a.m.

The wife of Chris Greenway, the first victim in the case, is now testifying. Her name is Donna Bedford. DA Putman has resumed questioning.

Greenway was a medical pilot and loved to hunt. He had been scheduled for a bypass surgery, but needed to switch to an open heart surgery due to the amount of blockage.

10:41 a.m.

Robert Campbell has finished his testimony with no questions from defense. There are lots of papers being processed into evidence that he would have handled.

Third witness is Elizabeth Mellon, director of Human Resources for CHRISTUS in Tyler.

10:33 a.m.

Susan Yeatts is finished with her testimony. Very few questions as she handled subpoena paperwork.

No questions from defense.

Next is Robert Campbell, who works in IT department at the hospital and a custodian of record.

10:24 a.m.

Haye’s opening statement ends after roughly 8 minutes.

First witness called by prosecution is Susan Yeatts, the custodian of record for CHRISTUS Hospital in Tyler.

10:20 a.m.

Hayes says that there was absolutely no motive for Davis to commit the murders and “he had everything going for him.”

Davis had been working for the hospital since 2013 and Hayes said that he was well respected by his colleagues.

10:13 a.m.

Putman concludes his opening statement after 40 minutes. Defense attorney Phillip Hayes has begun his opening remarks.

10:05 a.m.

Putman said the second victim, Joseph Kalina, was also a heart surgery patient who did not have complications. However, he also suddenly crashed and suffered massive brain damage.

An MRI revealed that it was the same area that caused Mr. Greenway’s death. Kalina was brain-damaged for more than two-and-a-half years and was treated by his family before he died.

9:50 a.m.

Putman is speaking on the first victim Christopher Greenway. He had heart surgery that went well with no complications.

It went so well that his nightside nurse went out for Whataburger for about 20-30 minutes and left him with Mr. Davis.

When the nurse came back, Mr. Greenway was crashing and a CT scan showed a massive amount of air in his brain.

A radiologist unconnected to the case assumed Mr. Greenway had brain surgery instead of heart surgery. He would die a few days later.

9:33 a.m.

DA Jacob Putman has begun his opening statement.

He begins by saying that “A hospital is the perfect place for a serial killer to hide. Someone dies in the hospital, it’s not immediately suspicious.”

Putman also stated that all the victims who died at the hospital were “neurologically intact” following their procedures.

9:30 a.m

The trial begins nearly one hour late. The jury consists of six men and six women. They appear to be five white men, one Hispanic man and six white women.

Original Story

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – One of the most anticipated trials for East Texas in at least a decade will finally begin on Tuesday after years of delays and roadblocks.

37-year-old William Davis, a former nurse for CHRISTUS, is charged with capital murder for allegedly killing four patients under his care. He was arrested back in 2018 after a months-long investigation.

The case has been beset by delays for more than three years: a lawyer replacement, lengthy DNA testing as well as evidence gathering and, not least of all, the pandemic.

Davis is accused of intentionally blowing air in the arterial lines of patients at the CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital. Along with the four deaths, several other people were seriously injured.

Over the past six weeks, lawyers for both sides and Jackson’s staff have had to widdle down a 2,000-person jury pool down to just 14 for a jury of 12 members and two alternates.

One of the challenges that jury selection faced was the wide press coverage the case has received since Davis’ arrest three years ago. In just the first pool of potential jurors, dozens of people said that they had heard about the case from either friends or the media.

114th District Judge Austin Jackson emphasized that they must put aside those feelings and only focus on the evidence presented in the trial.

Davis was originally indicted for the death of three patients but was charged for a fourth murder back in May. It is unclear from those court documents when the fourth victim died. 

An affidavit that KETK News obtained three years ago 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.

All victims were identified as patients who underwent cardiovascular surgery and were recovering in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU).

The case will be the first death penalty trial in Smith County in nearly two years. Back in 2019, Dameon Mosley was sentenced to death for murdering a gas station attendant during a robbery in Tyler.

That trial also took place in the 114th District Court, but under Judge Christi Kennedy. She retired following the end of her term last December.

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