In Texas, a former nurse received a death sentence for killing four patients recovering from heart surgery by injecting air into their arteries, causing fatal brain damage.
During the trial’s sentencing phase, prosecutors said that William Davis harmed at least 22 patients by injecting air into their arterial lines or venous systems.
Prosecutors played a recording of a jailhouse phone conversation in which Davis tells his ex-wife that he didn’t mean to kill the patients; he had just wanted to prolong the ICU stays of the patients so he could work overtime.
“Even if that were true and that he somehow was trying to prolong their illness, for someone to do that — kill their patient and then try again,” said Smith County District Attorney Jacob Putman. “You have to be the kind of person who has no empathy, who does not care for another person, who is unconcerned with their well being, who feels no guilt.”
Doctors at Christus Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler were baffled by what went wrong with the patients until they saw CT scans that showed air in their brains. During the trial, prosecutors showed security camera footage wherein Davis entered one of the patient’s rooms. Three minutes later, the patient’s heart monitor alarm went off, and he later died.
“There’s no way this could be accidental,” Putman said. “The evidence is overwhelming. The only conclusion you can come to is someone who would do something like this would have to be cold and callous and unfeeling. He has no love for anyone but himself. What he’s done to these families didn’t faze him at all.”