Ex-Texas nurse pleads not guilty in 1980s deaths of 5 kids

SAN ANTONIO – An imprisoned former nurse who prosecutors believe could be responsible for the deaths of up to 60 children in Texas pleaded not guilty Thursday to murder charges 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 99-year and 60-year 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 2018 under a mandatory release law that was in place when she was convicted.

Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood said each case will 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 clinic in Kerrville, about 55 miles to the northwest of San Antonio.

“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 they’ll 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.

CBS News

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 her tactic was to take swift medical action and save some of her victims so she could appear to be a sort of miracle worker.

LaHood said Wednesday that today’s prosecutors “don’t really know” her motivation.

“To…

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