TYLER, Texas — After 19 days of trial, a verdict for the former East Texas nurse convicted of killing four patients during his time at a Tyler hospital was met Wednesday afternoon.
The jury was tasked to determine if William Davis, 37, of Hallsville, should receive the death penalty or life in prison by answering two questions:
1. Is there a probability that Davis will commit criminal acts of violence that would constitute a continuing threat to society.
2. If 'yes' to question no. 1, is there sufficient, mitigating circumstances to warrant a sentence of life in prison rather than a death sentence.
Prior to deliberation, both sides made their closing arguments.
The state said that Davis lacks empathy, and for that, is a danger to society. District Attorney Jacob Putnam says Davis "doesn't need a reason to murder people," and "he'd good at it".
The death of Joseph Kalina was caught on security camera footage where Davis was seen in Kalina's room. Assistant District Attorney Lance Long says "He didn't accidentally kill Mr. Kalina. He did it on purpose and he went and watched for Kalina to crash."
In the defense's closing argument, they disagreed with the prosecution saying that if Davis is sentenced to life in prison, he wouldn't be able to harm anyone in a medical setting.
Assistant defense attorney Douglas Parks asks the jury for mercy for the defendant. Parks says he understands not sparing Davis mercy when he didn't spare his victims, but that "misses the entire point of what mercy is"
The prosecution rebutted calling Davis a malicious person and "serial monster".
Less than 2 hours later, the verdict was in. The jury unanimously voted 'yes' on Special Issue 1 and 'no' on Special Issue 2, resulting in a death sentence for Davis.
After 19 days of countless witness testimonies from nurses, doctors, relatives of the victims, the families of Christopher Greenaway, Joseph Kalina, Ronald Clark, and John Lafferty receive justice.
Stephen Laffery, John Laffery's son, says these past four years have been a "nightmare" and "everyone is ready for closure."
Tiffany Farmacka, Ronald Clark's daughter, says she believes justice was served, but she "still doesn't have her dad. My mom still doesn't have her husband. I don't even have my brother anymore."
Farmacka's brother "destroyed his liver" coping with the loss of his father a year and a half after his father's death. Farmacka took the stand Tuesday saying she found out her brother was drinking "a gallon of vodka a day" to cope with his grief.
After the verdict, victim impact statements began where family members of deceased victims could take the stand to look Davis in his eyes one last time and tell him how his decision impacted their families. This portion of the trial was not recorded.
Davis will be sent to Polunsky Unit in Livingston, TX awaiting his execution. Judge Austin Reeve Jackson says Davis will be given the opportunity to appeal. If he chooses to do so, and his appeal is denied, that will then be the day his execution date is set.