Ex-nurse fighting child death cases
Prosecutor seeks new convictions to block her release from prison
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.