Ex-nurse fight­ing child death cases

Prose­cu­tor seeks new con­vic­tions to block her re­lease from prison

The Dallas Morning News - - State -

SAN AN­TO­NIO — An im­pris­oned ex-nurse who pros­e­cu­tors be­lieve may have killed up to 60 chil­dren pleaded not guilty to mur­der charges Thurs­day in the deaths of five chil­dren in the early 1980s.

Genene Jones, 67, was ar­raigned Thurs­day in San An­to­nio. She was brought into court in a wheel­chair and wore a sur­gi­cal mask.

Jones is serv­ing con­cur­rent 99year and 60year sen­tences in state prison for the killing of 15-month-old Chelsea Mc­clel­lan and the sick­en­ing of 4-week-old Rolando San­tos. Be­fore the new charges were brought, Jones had been sched­uled to be freed in March un­der a manda­tory re­lease law that was in place when she was con­victed.

Bexar County District At­tor­ney Nico La­hood said each case would be tried separately. Jones could face up to life in prison on each charge.

Chil­dren died of un­ex­plained seizures and other com­pli­ca­tions when Jones worked at a San An­to­nio hos­pi­tal and a clinic in Ker­rville, 55 miles to the northwest .

“This is an enor­mous step in the right di­rec­tion to se­cure jus­tice for these slain chil­dren, their fam­i­lies and our com­mu­nity as a whole,” La­hood said at a news con­fer­ence Wed­nes­day.

He said pros­e­cu­tors would first try the case of 11-month-old Joshua Sawyer, who in­ves­ti­ga­tors say died in 1981 of a fa­tal over­dose of an anti-seizure drug.

“Our goal, my goal, is that she takes her last breath from be­hind bars and she meets the Lord from be­hind bars,” La­hood said Wed­nes­day.

Pros­e­cu­tors at Jones’ 1984 mur­der trial said the nurse lethally in­jected chil­dren at the Ker­rville clinic to demon­strate the need for a pe­di­atric in­ten­sive care unit at a nearby hos­pi­tal. Other pros­e­cu­tors the­o­rized that she tried to save some of her vic­tims so she could ap­pear to be a sort of mir­a­cle worker.

GENENE JONES

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