A nurse found guilty of killing five people and deliberately injuring five others at a Texas dialysis center by injection bleach into her patient’s kidney dialysis tubes will be told her sentence this week.
Kimberly Saenz, 38, found guilty of murder on Friday, awaits her fate as a jury on Monday heard evidence to decide if the East Texas nurse should be sentenced to death or put in prison for the rest of her life.
There were a dozen witnesses who testified on Monday, and nine of them were for Saenz, the Associated Press reported.
Many of the defense witnesses talked about Saenz’s participation in her two children's school work and athletics, that she attended church and was a good worker at her previous job.
Angelina County District Attorney Clyde Herrington showed photos of the victims as evidence and called only three witnesses on Monday.
Saenz, a mother of two, was fired in April 2008 after a string of illnesses and death at DaVita Lufkin Dialysis Center, and was charged a year later.
Two witnesses said that they saw Saenz use a syringe to inject bleach from a cleaning pail into the IV lines of patients, and prosecutors said internet search queries on her laptop showed that Saenz had searched bleach poisoning and whether it could be detected in dialysis lines.
Saenz’s attorneys argued that she was being used as a scapegoat by the clinic to explain the unusually high number of deaths that April that were in fact related to the clinic’s sloppy procedures, Associated Press reported.
Emergency paramedics had been called about 30 times in April 2008, with four deaths, seven cardiac problems and 19 runs, but there had been only two calls during the previous 15 months, according to the Texas Department of Health Services, Associated Press reported.
If Saenz is sentenced to death, she would be the 10th woman among about 300 prisoners on Texas death row.