SAN ANTONIO – A jailed former nurse who prosecutors believe could be responsible for the death of up to 60 children in Texas pleaded not guilty Thursday to murder charges in the death of five children in the early 1980s.
Genene Jones, 67, was arraigned Thursday in San Antonio. She was in court in a wheelchair and wearing a surgical mask.
Jones is where concurrent 99-year-old and 60-year sentences in state prison for the murder of the 15-month-old Chelsea McClellan and the sickening of 4-week-old Rolando Santos. Before the new tariffs were brought in, Jones had planned to be delivered in March 2018, with mandatory release law that was when she was sentenced.
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 attacks, and other complications, dr. Jones worked at a San Antonio hospital and clinic in Kerrville, about 55 miles (90 km) northwest of San Antonio.
“This is a huge step in the right direction to secure justice for these slain children, their families and our community as a whole,” LaHood said at a press conference Wednesday.
He said that they first try the case of the 11-month-old Joshua Sawyer, who investigators say died in 1981 of a fatal overdose of an anti-epilepsy drug.
“Our goal, my goal is that they her last breath behind the bars, and they met the Men from behind the bars,” LaHood said Wednesday.
Prosecutors in Jones’ 1984 murder trial, said the nurse lethally injected children at the Kerrville clinic to highlight the need for a pediatric intensive care unit in a nearby hospital. Other officers of justice theory that her tactic was to quick medical action and save a number of her victims, so they can appear as a kind of ‘miracle worker’.
LaHood said Wednesday that the current prosecutors “really do not know” her motivation.
“For me, evil is evil is evil,” LaHood said Wednesday, “I only know that these children were stolen from the family.”
It is not clear why Jones’ actions, involving so many alleged victims, were not detected earlier. But Sam Millsap, a former prosecutor in Bexar County, told KSAT-TV in 2013 that the medical records at the San Antonio hospital at a given time were accidentally destroyed, so the efforts of the researchers to prove their suspicions.
She was sentenced to prison in 1984 in the McClellan and Santos cases. When LaHood took office in January 2015, the approval of a task force to investigate Jones. In the announcement in May of the indictment in the death of Sawyer — the first of the five new charges that came out this year, LaHood said his office would be “an attempt to provide for every child, whose life was stolen by the actions of Jones.”