TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A Tyler nurse has been arrested and charged with murder.
William George Davis of Hallsville, was arrested in Tyler on April 10, accused of injecting air into the IV lines of at least seven patients at a Tyler heart hospital. Two of those patients died.
Tyler police held a news conference April 11, saying they are working backwards to identify any other possible victims.
Davis worked as a registered nurse at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital for the past 5 years, but on February 15, he was fired after supervisors noticed irregularities in patients recovering from heart surgery at the Louis and Peaches Heart Hospital.
"At the beginning of the investigation CHRISTUS approached the Smith County District Attorney's Office and the Tyler Police Department with concerns that a nurse may have been involved in intentionally causing harm to patients at one of their hospitals," says Tyler Police Chief Jimmy Toler.
The Texas Board of Nursing suspended Davis' nursing license on March 16, saying Davis performed a "unskilled and/or unnecessary intervention for several patients who he was not assigned to".
Toler says these patients experienced "unexplained symptoms inconsistent with their treatment and recovery."
Before he was fired, Davis was placed on suspension on January 25.
The suspension documents say that on August 4, Davis performed the intervention on a patient who died two days later from an air embolism, which means a pocket of air found in the patient's blood stream.
The board found that two similar incidents occurred on November 30 and January 25, leaving two other patients in a vegetative state.
The board suspended Davis' license for falsifying care events and the "unethical failure" to report the interventions he performed on at least seven patients within the past year.
Davis is in jail on one charge of murder, but Tyler Police Chief Jimmy Toler says more charges are expected.
"We proceeded with this one charge at this time, " says Toler. "When we file that charge with the District Attorneys Office, it's anticipated we will file multiple charges of aggravated assault on top of this one and we are currently investigating 7 incidents."
In the statement from CHRISTUS Mother Frances Health System, the hospital says their internal investigation shows Davis acted independently and of his own free will.
Tyler police say they only had one person of interest in this case, that person being Davis.
A Go-Fund-Me account linked to Davis' Facebook page was taken down this afternoon. In it, Davis sought funding to quote "pay for attorney fees to defend me in this matter." He said quote "unfortunately my RN license was temporarily suspended by the board for misunderstandings, and now, I am having to defend myself before the board in order to keep my license and my career."
Authorities have set up a crisis line; if you know someone that could have been a victim of a similar incident. The number is 1-888-299-4868.