More victims revealed in sentencing phase of former CHRISTUS nurse convicted with capital murder

Crime

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – More victims were revealed as the William Davis phase two of the trial began Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the jury found the former nurse guilty of capital murder for the deaths of several patients in Tyler.

What the jury previously knew as six, doubled to 12.

Seven people died and five survived in the care of Davis.

Editor’s Note: The woman who was a young teen in 2002 has had her name removed from the article after initially being identified after she testified that she was asked to perform sexual acts on Davis when he was 18 and she was around 13 years old.

1:40 p.m.

The next witness called was Teresa Meeks, a nurse supervisor who already testified during the guilt-innocence phase of the trial.

1:15 p.m.

Fowler mentioned caring for two other of the new victims that Putman said would be brought up: James Sanders and James Wages.

12:45 p.m.

State called Gray Fowler, a retired cardiologist recovery nurse who worked at CHRISTUS for more than 10 years.

He was the primary nurse for Perry Frank after his surgery in 2017. He said Frank’s recovery was normal and he had no unexpected problems.

While he was getting a water cup for Frank, he saw on a monitor that Frank’s health was crashing. Emergency life-saving measures were initiated at 2:40 a.m. After more than an hour of chest compressions and other procedures, Frank was pronounced dead just before 4 a.m.

Fowler was very emotional during his testimony when he recalled Frank’s passing.

11:03 a.m.

Perry Frank needed immediate heart surgery when a cardiologist discovered 80% blockage in 2017. He had the heart surgery and had progressed well following the procedure.

His wife, Crystal, went home that night, but was called back at 3 a.m. after his health crashed. By the time Crystal arrived, Perry had died.

The hospital had no explanation for his sudden death and asked if she would consent to an autopsy.

The defense team had no questions for her. Judge Jackson has sent the case into a lunch break

10:51 a.m.

The prosecution calls Crystal Frank, wife of Perry Frank. They had been married for 32 years and lived in Grapeland.

He played in the U.S. Naval Band for more than 20 years. Traveled all over the world. After retirement, he became a school teacher.

10:45 a.m.

The defense gets Green to say that none of the nearly two dozen calls placed were answered by the woman.

Robert Graham has been re-called to testify. He was head of seurity at CHRISTUS and testified the first day of the trial in September.

On Tuesday, he was asked about pulling security footage when requested by CHRISTUS officials.

10:40 a.m.

Green testified that Davis tried to call the women on 23 occasions earlier this year. He at first used his own unique inmate ID number, but then switched to others.

The first separate inmate he used was Johnny Osburn, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to murdering his girlfriend and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Other inmate identifications were also used over a period of four months to make calls.

The defense is now questioning Green.

10:20 a.m.

Next witness for the prosecution is a woman named Lt. Elsa Green, who works at the Smith County Jail and is their Custodian of Records. She assists with visitation and phone calls by the inmates.

9:58 a.m.

Defense has ended their questioning of the woman. Judge Jackson has called for a break.

9:50 a.m.

Prosection has ended their questioning of the woman.

Defense has focused on her interview with police in 2003 where she did not tell them the full story of her and Davis.

She says she didn’t at the time because she felt she “was in love with Davis and thought he was in love” with her.

Questioning by the defense has been polite and non-confrontational.

9:40 a.m.

Prosecutors reading old love letters written by Davis to the woman around 2002 and 2003. They contain sexually explicit language.

The woman says she felt that Davis was trying to manipulate her. Davis has had his head down looking at a table for at least 20 minutes while they are being read.

9:30 a.m.

The woman testifies that she did not tell the police in 2002-2003 what was happening. However, in June she decided to talk to prosecutors so her “voice could be heard.”

She also said that Davis began calling her from jail earlier this year. She said that scared her and she changed her number.

9:15 a.m.

The woman who was a young teen at the time in 2002-2003 testifies that Davis had her perform oral sex on him when he was 18 and she was around 13.

She said the acts continued to happen behind their parents’ backs even after the guidelines document was signed. She said that one time she tried to push him away.

9:07 a.m.

Witness passed to the defense after he tells story of them leaving their church after the protective order was drawn up. Says they were scared of Davis and “he was focused on [his daughter].”

Defense had brief questions for him before ending his testimony.

The next witness called is the woman who was a teen at the time that led to the rules and guidelines document being written.

9:05 a.m.

A protective order was drawn up in 2003 against William Davis by Larry’s wife (no name given yet). It has not been said why it was drawn up, but Larry said: “she was scared.”

After the order was drawn up, the family was still scared by Davis sitting behind them in church. They eventually left the church due to him being there.

8:55 a.m.

The first prosecution witness is a man named Larry. The media did not catch his last name. He is from New London, Texas, and worked with William Davis’ dad.

He is the stepdad of a woman who was a young teenager around 2002.

Davis was around 18-19 and Larry testifies that Davis had romantic feelings for the woman. Larry wanted to stop this due to the age difference.

The two families drew up a document that outlined rules and guidelines for how they had contact. It didn’t allow for them to be alone and under almost near-constant adult supervision. Both sets of parents signed it along with Davis.

Larry said that the goal of the document was to make it “so unbearable that [Davis] would just go away.” He said he was not successful in doing that.

8:46 a.m.

Putman promises the jury they will hear about six additional victims in the case that were not presented at trial: three murder victims and three attempted murder victims.

This would bring the total number of victims to 12: seven deaths and five attempted murders.

Putman finishes his opening statement after just seven minutes. The defense had no opening statement.

8:40 a.m.

DA Jacob Putman has begun his opening statement after the jury was welcomed back into the courtroom.

8:37 a.m.

Court has been called into session by Judge Austin Jackson.

Original Story

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The capital murder conviction of former CHRISTUS nurse William Davis brings at least some immediate relief for family members of the victims: regardless of what happens over the next few weeks, he will die in prison.

After a trial that lasted more than three weeks, a Smith County jury found Davis guilty in less than an hour but now will move on to the punishment phase.

Under Texas law, the only two punishment options for a capital murder conviction are the death penalty or life without parole. The punishment phase retains the same jury from the trial, but it has some differences from the guilt/innocence process.

Lawyers from both the prosecution and defense have much broader discretion on what they can introduce to the jury as aggravating or mitigating evidence on whether Davis will pose a continuing threat to others in prison. This can range from character witnesses to circumstances about his childhood as well as other factors.

It is expected that more than two dozen witnesses will be called during Davis’ punishment phase, which will likely mean it could last for weeks. The jury will be asked the following:

  • Is there a probability that Davis would commit criminal actos violence that would constitute a continuing threat to society?
  • If they answer yes to the question above, they will be asked if there is sufficent mitigating circumstances to warrant a sentence of life imprisoment without parole rather than a death sentence?

A “yes” answer to Question One and a “no” answer to Question Two must be unanimous to have a death sentence be imposed by the court, in this case 114th District Judge Austin Jackson.

If the jury is unable to reach an answer to either question, Jackson would be required to hand down a sentence of life without parole.

The last Smith County defendant sentenced to death was Dameon Mosley in 2019, who was convicted of capital murder in the killing of a gas station attendant during a robbery.

He was also convicted in the 114th District Court, which was presided over by then-Judge Christi Kennedy, was has since retired.

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