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DA: Convicted former East Texas nurse killed 3 other patients, committed 5 attempted murders

Smith County District Attorney Putnam told jurors they would hear from nurses, doctors and victims.

TYLER, Texas — Following a former nurse's capital murder conviction Tuesday in the deaths of four patients, Smith County District Attorney Jacob Putman said Wednesday the prosecution will prove William George Davis killed three other patients and attempted to murder five more.

Yesterday, after about an hour of deliberation, the jury reached its verdict in the trial of Davis, 37, of Hallsville, following about two weeks of witness testimony and evidence.

Davis was found guilty of injecting air into patients’ arterial systems while he was a nurse at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital in Tyler, causing their deaths. He was found guilty in the deaths of patients John Lafferty, Ronald Clark, Christopher Greenaway and Joseph Kalina.

The punishment phase of the trial began Wednesday.

Smith County Jail Lt. Elsa Green testified Davis called the woman's phone number several times while he was jailed this year, including using other inmates' information to make the phone calls. None of the calls were answered from the jail.

In opening statements, Putman said Davis is responsible for seven murders and five attempted murders. He had only been found guilty in four of those. 

Putnam told jurors they would hear from nurses, doctors and victims.

A widow of one of those deceased victims, Krystal Frank, said her husband Perry Frank had heart surgery in 2017 and he was recovering well from surgery until she got a 3 a.m. phone call from the hospital.

She testified the hospital staff worked on Perry Frank for an hour but they couldn’t revive him.

"I was praying all the way, but I knew he was gone already," she said.

A woman also testified that when she was in middle school and Davis was a freshman in college he coerced her into having sex and touching him inappropriately.

Davis and the woman dated when he was 18 and she was 13. Prosecutors asked questions about their relationship and anyways Davis abused her.

The state showed letters, which were graphic and sexual in nature, that Davis wrote to the middle-school-aged girl at the time. She recalled interviewing with the police but didn't tell the whole story until recently because she was afraid of getting in trouble.

Davis' trial began Sept. 28 when he entered a not guilty plea. The prosecution presented evidence for 11 days while the defense put on four witnesses across two days. 

The prosecution was seeking the death penalty in the case.