'Killer nurse' suspected of murdering over 60 children in her care sentenced to life in prison

Genene Jones who has been dubbed as the 'killer nurse' following the deaths of dozens of children at a San Antonio hospital in the 1980s, was imprisoned in 1984 for killing one child and giving an overdose to another.


                            'Killer nurse' suspected of murdering over 60 children in her care sentenced to life in prison
Genene Jones (Texas Department of Criminal Justice)

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS: A former nurse was sentenced to life in prison on January 16, Thursday, in Texas for murdering a baby boy back in 1981. 69-year-old Genene Jones, who is alleged to have also murdered dozens of other children, wore a blue jail uniform to court as she entered a plea deal to avoid a trial for the murder of Joshua Sawyer, Breitbart reports.

“Ms. Jones, something has to be said for you taking the plea to life on this murder,” said District Judge Frank J. Castro. “But it doesn’t come close to what you did to these families and the tragedies that you caused. You took God’s most precious gift — babies, defenseless, innocent."

“But I truly believe that your ultimate judgment is in the next life,” he added.

According to a report by the San Antonio Express-News, the "killer nurse" was working at Bexar County Hospital (now University Hospital) at the time of the deaths. 

Jones was eligible to be released from prison in 2018 after serving about a third of her original sentence. However, she was newly indicted in 2017 in the deaths of Rosemary Vega on September 16, 1981; Paul Villarreal on September 24, 1981; Joshua Sawyer on December 12, 1981; and Patrick Zavala on January 17, 1982, per the report, which added that all of the victims were patients at the hospital and aged 3 months to 2 years.

The evidence clearly showed Jones had killed Sawyer by administering a lethal dose of Dilantin, former Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood said in 2017. At the time, LaHood also noted that Jones was a suspect in the deaths of nearly 60 children who died at the San Antonio hospital where she was employed. “During that time, pediatric units showed a sharp spike in infant deaths during the shifts Jones worked," he said.

According to Texas Monthly, she admitted to the murders during a 1998 interview with the parole board. “I really did kill those babies,” Jones reportedly told a parole officer. Jones faced the family members of the babies she alleged killed as part of the plea deal on Thursday. The grieving families held up photographs of their deceased loved ones.

“You should have to serve one year for every year of life you robbed from the babies that you murdered,” said Connie Weeks, Joshua's mother. “Although that’s not possible, you should definitely serve the remainder of your life in prison for the babies' lives that you have shortened."

Meanwhile, Catherine Babbitt, chief of major crimes with the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, revealed in a statement how the victims “were not only children, but they were often critically ill children, and for her to decide on her watch who lived and who died is nothing short of evil.”

“The odds are that she will take her last breath in prison,” Babbitt added.

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