TYLER — Security video viewed by a jury Thursday showed a former East Texas nurse was in a hospital room minutes before a patient began to have complications that led to fatal brain damage.
William George Davis, 37, of Hallsville, who is charged with capital murder of multiple people, is accused of introducing air into patients’ arterial systems while he worked at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital in Tyler, causing their deaths, according to 2018 and 2021 indictments.
The victims named in the documents are John Lafferty, Ronald Clark, Christopher Greenaway and Joseph Kalina.
During Thursday morning testimony in Smith County’s 114th District Court, Wendy Stone, a registered nurse at Christus Mother Frances cardiothoracic ICU, viewed security footage from the hospital hallway on the night Kalina suffered a medical neurological emergency Jan. 25, 2018.
Stone testified that before this emergency, Kalina was recovering well in the hospital after his surgery. She had no expectations he was going to have a neurological event.
He ultimately suffered severe brain damage and died two years later.
She recalled one of the nurses calling out to her for help as Kalina began to have complications. She said this was one of the only times she saw that nurse “rattled.”
Kalina was placed on a ventilator, and he was not responsive, Stone testified.
The prosecution then presented security footage of the hospital hallway showing Davis going into Kalina’s room about three to four minutes before a fellow nurse called for help after 1 a.m.
Stone testified that multiple people were called to help Kalina. The video also showed Davis peeking into patient rooms while walking down the hallway.
Stone said she yelled down the hallway for a device to help with Kalina’s treatment. Stone said she noticed Davis see the person bringing the device for him and turned his head forward.
Stone testified that to her knowledge Davis didn’t tell anyone he was in the room before Kalina’s complications. She added she would expect Davis to respond to Kalina with his nursing experience.
Stone also testified that working with an arterial line is a practiced, common routine for nurses. She said nurses are careful to make sure there’s no air in the arterial line.
“We are not lackadaisical in our actions,” she said.
Davis has been in the Smith County Jail since his April 2018 arrest on bonds totaling $8.75 million. He was indicted on charges of capital murder, murder and five counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.