MURDER TRIAL DAY 12: State rests case in former nurse’s murder trial

Dr. William Yarbrough, a Dallas VA Hospital pulmonologist, took the stand. Dr. Yarbrough says his review of the scans made it clear to him: air was intentiona
Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 8:58 AM CDT

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - After 11 days of testimony, the prosecution in the trial of the former East Texas nurse accused of killing patients rested their case Wednesday.

The defense began making their case by calling two people who have already testified.

“We were very frightened. We came in in the morning and were really anxious. We were hoping that nothing bad had happened,” said CHRISTUS cardiovascular ICU clinical director Teresa Meeks.

Meeks told the jury her staff was deeply impacted by the unexpected crashes of several patients between June 2017 and January 2018.

“Honestly, it nearly destroyed my relationship with the staff because I got stuck in the middle of everything. Is it the nurse’s fault, is it that we’re not paying attention? Is it something that we just can’t explain? Is it bad outcomes? It was terrible. It was a terrible time,” she said.

Representing William Davis was lead defense attorney Phillip Hayes. He questioned Meeks on previous testimony where she said Davis entered Joseph Kalina’s room in the early morning hours of January 25, 2018 with what appeared to be a syringe in his hand.

“Do you remember that you said when you saw up there you couldn’t tell what was in his hand and then Mr. Long helped you out with your answer?” Hayes asked.

“That’s inaccurate, sir,” Meeks responded.

“That’s not what happened?” Hayes asked.

“No, sir that is not,” Meeks said.

In cross-examination, Meeks told prosecutor Lance Long that it couldn’t have been a pre-filled saline syringe because they come in clear packaging, while a normal syringe is in packaging with one clear side and one solid white side.

“Is that consistent with the type of packaging you saw in the defendant’s hand as he walked into Mr. Kalina’s room?” Long asked.

“Yes, sir it is,” Meeks responded.

Testimony wrapped up around 10:30 a.m. due to witness scheduling conflicts. Before ending for the day, judge Austin Reeve Jackson talked to William Davis about his right to take the stand in his own defense.

“Once you’re on the stand, you don’t get to decide which questions you respond to, does that make sense?” Jackson asked Davis.

“Yes, sir,” Davis responded.

Whether or not Davis chooses take the stand is still to be seen. Judge Jackson said jury deliberation could begin sometime early next week.

The trial will not be underway for the rest of the week due to witness scheduling conflicts. It will resume at 9 a.m. on Monday.

The state rested its case Wednesday morning in the trial of William Davis, a former East Texas nurse accused of killing four patients and injuring others. Below is a timeline of what occurred in court today.

10:37 a.m. - The judge says the trial is ending for the day due to witness unavailability. There will be no trial Thursday or Friday due to witness unavailability.

The trial will resume at 9 a.m. Monday. Judge Jackson says the jury can expect to begin deliberations early next week.

10:02 a.m. - Dr. Jennifer Shupe, a CHRISTUS Neurologist, is the first witness called on by the defense.

Dr. Shupe says no events similar to the unexpected crashes have happened since Davis was terminated from the hospital.

The next witness was called, Teresa Meeks, the CHRISTUS cardiovascular ICU Clinical Director.

Lead defense attorney Phillip Hayes questions Meeks about records related to Chris Greenaway’s sudden crash. Hayes questions Meeks’ account of what appeared to be in Davis’ hand when he entered Joseph Kalina’s room on Jan. 25, 2018.

“I was not okay and I’m still not okay.” Meeks on the toll the alleged murders had on her personally.

The state rested its case in the murder trial for William Davis, a former East Texas nurse accused of killing patients during his time working at a Tyler heart hospital, Wednesday morning.

William Davis, 37, of Hallsville, is accused of injecting air into the arterial lines of patients at a Tyler heart hospital. Davis was arrested in April 2018.

Now, the defense will be calling its witnesses.

Today marks the 12th day of the trial.

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