UPDATE: Police identify victim in East Texas nurse murder case as decorated Army veteran

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An East Texas nurse, whose license was recently suspended by the Texas Board of Nursing, has been arrested for the murder of a decorated Army veteran.

The Tyler Police Department arrested William George Davis, 34, of Hallsville, on Tuesday, in the lobby of the police department after he came by to pick up evidence that was to be released back to him.

He was taken into custody on a warrant out of the 241st District Court of Judge Jack Skeen.

THE INVESTIGATION

According to the TPD, officials with the CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System reached out to police and the Smith County District Attorney’s Office in late January with concerns a nurse may have been involved in intentionally causing harm to several patients at one of their hospitals.

The hospital system said their suspicions grew after learning patients were experiencing unexplained symptoms inconsistent with their treatment and recovery.

A Special Criminal Investigation Team was formed to examine the case in early February.

Police spent more than 1,700 hours investigating the case prior to Davis’ arrest.

There are no other persons of interest in this case, according to police.

Davis’ arrest is in connection with the death of Christopher Greenaway, 47, on August 6, 2017. (SEE CHARGE 1 below.)

LIFETIME OF SERVICE

Greenaway worked as a pilot for medical transport. He also achieved the U.S. Coast Guard Captains License, PADI Open Water Diver Certificate and National Eagle Scout.

He served in the United States Army earning the following awards:

– U.S. Army Aviator Badge

– U.S. Army Aircraft Crewman Badge

– U.S. Army Accommodation Medal

– National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star

– Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

– Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star

– Army Service Ribbon

– Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon

– Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” Device

– Armed Forces Reserve Medal with 10-Year Device-Bronze

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and families who have been affected by these acts,” said Tyler Police Chief Jimmy Toler. “The assistance and cooperation from the Smith County District Attorney and CHRISTUS have been extremely beneficial during the initial stages of this investigation.”

DAVIS’ BACKGROUND

Davis, who served as a registered nurse at the CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Louis & Peaches Owen Heart Hospital, recently completed his Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) for Acute Care Nurse Practitioners.

He was fired by the hospital system in February 2018, due to his “falsification of care events and his unethical practice related to failure to disclose interventions provided” which may have impacted a patient’s status on January 25, 2018, according to the Texas Board of Nursing. (See CHARGE 3 below.)

SUSPENSION

On March 16, 2018, the Texas Board of Nursing issued a Temporary Suspension Order against Davis, citing cases in which the board determined Davis was a “continuing and imminent threat to the public welfare.”

Davis’ RN license was issued on March 29, 2011, with an expiration date of February 28, 2018.

Prior to recent activity by the Board, Davis had no disciplinary action on his record.

CHARGES

The Board identified the following three charges as events which they say provided evidence to go forward with the suspension. (Editor’s Note: All charges outlined below were presented by the Board and have not been subjected to and independent investigation by KETK.)

CHARGE 1

On August 4, 2017, Davis entered the room of a patient, identified as Greenway, to whom he was not assigned.

Documents provided by the Board state he performed an unskilled and/or unnecessary and/or inappropriate intervention for Greenway.

A short time later, the Greenway’s condition began to deteriorate and a stroke code was initiated requiring resuscitative measures.

Greenway died two days later, on August 6, 2017.

The Board says Davis failed to communicate his actions to the Greenway’s assigned nurse and/or document the event.

On August 8, an autopsy revealed Greenway suffered a cortical acute ischemic infarction from an air embolism that contributed to the patient’s death, according to the Board.

CHARGE 2

On November 30, 2017, Davis entered the room of an unidentified patient, to whom he was not assigned, and performed an unskilled and/or unnecessary and/or inappropriate intervention for the patient, the Board says.

Approximately five minutes later, the patient’s condition began to deteriorate and a stroke code was initiated requiring resuscitative measures.

According to the Board, this ultimately resulted in a persistent vegetative state.

Additionally Davis, failed to communicate his intervention to the patient’s assigned nurse and/or document, reports the Board.

CHARGE 3

On January 25, 2018, Davis entered the room of a patient, to whom he was not assigned, and performed an unskilled and/or unnecessary and/or inappropriate intervention for the patient.

The Board says about three minutes later, the patient’s condition began to deteriorate and a stroke code was initiated requiring resuscitative measures.

The Board says this ultimately resulted in a persistent vegetative state.

When Davis was initially questioned, he admitted to facility management he entered the unidentified patient’s room and silenced an IV that was beeping.

Several days later, the Board says Davis told management he reset a beeping IV, flushed the arterial line (thin catheter inserted into an artery) a couple of times and pumped up the pressure bag.

Additionally, Davis failed to communicate his intervention to the patient’s assigned nurse and/or document the event, according to the Board.

RAISING FUNDS

GoFundMe page was created on March 23, 2018, in which Davis says his license was temporarily suspended by the Board “for misunderstandings” and now he is having to defend himself before the Board in order to keep his license and his career.

“I am unable to currently work as a RN or nurse practitioner, so my income is very limited,” Davis, a husband and father of two young children, writes in the fundraising site’s description. “We are currently selling our house to downgrade at this time. I am trying to collect money in an effort to pay for attorney fees to defend me in this matter. I am not the type to do this kind of thing, because I have worked very hard since I was a little, but am humble enough to recognize the significant need for help in this matter.”

As of 8:25 a.m., on Wednesday, 58 contributors had donated a combined total of $6,515 of the $10,000 sought by Davis.

However, seven hours later around 3:15 p.m., the GoFundMe had been deactivated.

HOSPITAL SYSTEM RESPONDS

On Wednesday, CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System released the following statement in response to Davis’ arrest:

“We learned that William Davis, a registered nurse, has been taken into custody by the Tyler Police Department. Davis was employed by CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital – Tyler from 2013 to 2018.
On January 25, we identified an unusual and unexplained patient outcome in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CICU) at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital – Tyler. Because of our strong commitment to high quality care, we took swift action and performed a review of the circumstances, including reviews of any unanticipated outcomes. This review produced new information that resulted in the immediate removal of nurse William Davis from all patient care responsibilities, and he was terminated by CHRISTUS. We believe the issues with Mr. Davis were isolated to him and he acted independently and of his own accord. Due to concerns arising out of this confidential review, we shared details with the appropriate authorities, including the Texas Board of Nursing and Tyler Police Department. We are actively cooperating with them, as well as working with state and national regulatory and accrediting bodies.

On March 16, 2018, the Texas Board of Nursing summarily suspended Davis’s license in accordance with Section 301.455, Texas Occupations Code. The order sets forth three separate charges concerning Mr. Davis’s inappropriate interventions for three patients and one charge regarding the falsification of care events and the ethical practice related to the failure to disclose interventions.

We understand that the police investigation is ongoing. Our policies and federal privacy regulations prevent us from sharing patient health information and the specifics of this active police investigation, but CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital – Tyler takes any and all concerns surrounding patient safety and security very seriously and will continue to be proactive to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.”

The TPD will hold a press conference at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday afternoon, to discuss the details regarding Davis’ arrest.

Currently, Davis is only charged in Greenway’s death.

Davis remains in the Smith County Jail on $2,000,000 bond.

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