DA pledges second look at baby deaths linked to nurse
For years victim's rights advocates and Texas mothers have been trying to prevent the release of a woman who has been linked to the deaths of dozens of children. On Thursday, those pleas were answered when Bexar County District Attorney Susan Reed pledge to re-examine all the baby deaths linked to Genene Anne Jones.
"We deserve to be heard," said Marina Rodriguez. "I mean our children were murdered and nothing was done."
Rodriguez' son, Feliciano, died after receiving his immunizations at a San Antonio clinic in 1981. Rodriguez said the nurse who gave her infant his shots was Jones.
"Feliciano will get justice," said Rodriguez.
Feliciano is one of dozens of children Jones is suspected of killing while working as a pediatric nurse in San Antonio and Kerrville. Investigators said Jones is believed to have killed the children by giving them an overdose of either blood thinners or muscle relaxants. However, Jones was only convicted of killing one child, Chelsea McLellan, in 1984 and injuring a second.
"I don't understand how anyone could ever hurt a child," said Petti McLellan-Wiese during an interview with Local 2 Investigates in April.
Investigators said at the time a grand jury was impaneled to investigate McLellan's death the now-shuttered Bexar County hospital shredded thousands of pounds of records relating to the deaths of the other children, making prosecution of those cases difficult. The deaths were also not reported to the Medical Examiner's Office. Jones worked at that hospital before moving to Kerrville.
Even though Jones was sentenced to 99 years in prison, she is scheduled to be released in February 2018, according to state prison records. At the time of her conviction Jones was sentenced under an old Texas law that allowed violent offenders to be given early release by demonstrating good behavior behind bars. The law has since been changed.
"She was implicated in the deaths of 47 little babies and my goodness we cannot have someone like that free, period," said Reed.
Victim's Rights Advocate Andy Kahan has spent years pushing for investigators to re-examine all the cases linked to Jones. Kahan said the only thing that will prevent Joneses' release from prison will be to prosecute her for another child's death.
"Today is a good day for the victims of Genene Jones," said Kahan. "And there's no way we're ever going to release a serial killer without going down kicking, screaming and fighting."