MURDER TRIAL DAY 6: Nurse practitioner, radiologist testify on crash of patients, air found in brains at Davis trial
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The jury in the trial of a former East Texas nurse accused of killing patients heard more testimony today from the nurses who cared for two of William Davis’ alleged victims.
“I went to the bedside and I saw him and I said ‘You did it!’ and he was like, ‘well, when can I have a steak?” said CHRISTUS nurse practitioner Brandi Holcomb.
Holcomb said she remembers well her interactions with 47-year-old Chris Greenaway. She says he was recovering well from heart surgery in early August 2017.
“I told him I was gonna be off and I’d see him Monday when I came back to work,” she said.
But when she would return, Greenaway’s condition had deteriorated and the nurses in the cardiovascular ICU couldn’t figure out why.
“I was devastated, you know; how could this happen?” Holcomb said.
An ‘unexplained event’ that would happen again. In January 2018, Joseph Kalina was recovering from heart surgery when he suddenly crashed in the early morning hours of January 25. His heart rate and blood pressure were low. He wasn’t responding.
“And I remember thinking, what the, excuse my language, what the F happened?” she said.
Security camera footage showed William Davis was the last person in Kalina’s room before he crashed. Davis claims Kalina asked him to check his line, saying it was bothering him.
Dr. Charlie Crum also took the stand today. As a radiologist, he says he was able to identify something unusual in Greenaway and Kalina’s brains, large amounts of air.
“You need to talk to the nurse. Something happened with the line. That’s air,” Crum said.
Side-by-side images shown in court showed a normal brain and Chris Greenaway’s brain after his sudden crash. Dr. Crum says the circled areas showed where large amounts of air were found. He says it would take about six minutes with that amount of air in the brain to cause lasting damage.
“If air is in the radial artery, and put in that radial line, it’s gotta get significant volume, you’ve gotta have a bunch of it to go up the arm. And then once it hits to the arm, it’s instantaneously, I mean for all types of purposes, instantaneously, it’s going up to the brain,” he said.
Crum says symptoms would begin to show almost immediately.
“Weakness, inability to talk, and in severe cases, just being obtunded, not being able to really make anything sensible and not even be really conscious at that point,” Crum said.
Similar stories for two men who were said to be well on the road to recovery.
3:39 p.m. - Crum affirmed that the cause of damage to both Kalina’s and Greenaway’s brain is the same.
“In my opinion it’s exact same cause, it’s the exact same pattern. Air in his arteries. " Crum said.
“There was extensive damage in Mr. Kalina’s brain,” Crum also said.
2:33 p.m. - The court begins looking at x-ray images of Greenaway’s brain. Crum says they show large amounts of air in Greenaway’s brain.
He said it would take 20-60 minutes for the air to be absorbed, but it would only take six minutes with that amount of air to cause lasting, devastating damage.
2:05 p.m. - Dr. Jennifer Shupe, a neurologist with CHRISTUS, says no explanation immediately came to mind as to why so much air was found in Chris Greenaway’s brain.
She says she examined CT scans to try to figure out what happened.
Dr. Charlie Crum, a Radiologist with Tyler Radiology, said, “It was never a question in my mind,” that it was air that was found in Chris Greenaway’s brain.
Crum says once air is injected into the arterial line, symptoms would begin to show immediately. Symptoms include inability to talk, possibly become comatose.
11:34 a.m. - Prosecution asks Judge to hear testimony about two more alleged Davis victims.
Pamela Henderson and one other alleged victim. Both suffered severe brain damage, but are still alive.
The Defense objected to prosecution’s request to call for testimony about those two alleged victims. The judge finds state’s request meets the requirements, grants the state permission to get into the additional victims.
11:11 a.m. - Joseph Kalina, a truck driver, was driving back to San Antonio when he began to have chest pain in the Mount Pleasant area. It was later determined he had a heart attack.
Kalina was transported to a Tyler hospital for better care. Kalina had a history of smoking and alcohol usage.
Holcomb said Kalina went into surgery with Dr. Turner and was doing well. Holcomb says Kalina was on a ventilator when she arrived to work the next morning.
“What the F happened?” Holcomb said was her reaction to Kalina’s sudden decline.
10:13 a.m. - The next witness, Brandi Holcomb, an acute care nurse practitioner at CHRISTUS, took the stand.
She began talking about extubation. This is when a patient’s breathing tube is removed. Holcomb calls it a significant milestone in patient recovery.
In tears, Holcomb recalls Chris Greenaway’s recovery. She talked with him after he got out of surgery before she went home for the day. He was doing well and was expected to be discharged that Monday.
9:35 a.m. - The Defense went over Joseph Kalina’s vitals with Lacy Simpson.
Simpson repeatedly answers “I do not recall” to questions regarding her statements to police.
Simpson said Davis had three patients the morning of Jan. 25, 2017. Their status was said to be “intermediate,” meaning they were a step down from being in the ICU.
The questioning of Simpson then concluded.
The sixth day of the trial for a former East Texas nurse accused of killing patients during his time working at a Tyler heart hospital got underway Tuesday.
William Davis, 37, of Hallsville, is accused of injecting air into the arterial lines of patients at a Tyler heart hospital, killing at least two people and injuring several others. Davis was arrested in April 2018. At the time, he was a registered nurse at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler.
Lacy Simpson, a nurse at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances, continued her testimony.
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