Texas Nurse Sentenced to Death for Killing Four Patients by Injecting Them With Air

William Davis, left, a former nurse, awaiting the verdict in his murder trial last week. Credit…Les Hassell/Longview News-Journal, via Associated Press

A former Texas nurse was sentenced to death this week for injecting air into the arteries of four patients recovering from heart surgery, causing fatal brain damage, a court official said.

A jury in Tyler, Texas, handed up the sentence on Wednesday in the capital murder case of the former nurse, William Davis, eight days after convicting him.

Prosecutors said during the trial’s sentencing phase that Mr. Davis, 37, had harmed at least 11 patients altogether by injecting air into their arterial lines or venous systems.

Two of those other patients later died, according to prosecutors, but charges were not brought because the cases would have been harder to prove.

In making their case for the death penalty, prosecutors had played a recording of a jailhouse phone conversation in which Mr. Davis told his ex-wife that he wanted to prolong the I.C.U. stays of the patients so that he could accrue overtime. Their deaths, Mr. Davis said on the call, were accidental.

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SOURCE: The New York Times, Neil Vigdor