Parole board considers baby killer's release

By Robert Arnold - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - Members of the Texas Board of Pardons are considering whether former pediatric nurse Genene Jones should be released from prison.

During a parole review hearing in Angleton on Wednesday, Victim's Rights Advocate Andy Kahan testified against Jones' release.

"This is probably one of the most cold-blooded, diabolical, heinous serial killers ever to live on the face of the earth," said Kahan.

Jones was convicted in 1984 of killing 15-month-old Chelsea McLellan by giving her an overdose of muscle relaxants. Jones was sentenced to 99 years in prison.

McLellan's mother, Petti McLellan-Wiese, also spoke to the parole board Wednesday via phone.

Jones is also a suspect in the deaths of more than 40 infants during her time as a pediatric nurse in San Antonio and Kerrville. However, court records show that since so much of the evidence in those cases was destroyed during the late 70s and early 80s by the now-shuttered hospital Jones worked for, she was only convicted of one murder.

Kahan said he is confident Jones will be denied release, but adds it will only be a temporary denial of her freedom.

"By statute and by the law in the state of Texas she must be legally released late 2017 or early 2018 depending on her behavior," said Kahan.

Jones was sentenced under an old Texas law meant to alleviate prison overcrowding. That law, which was repealed by the Texas legislature, allowed violent offenders like Jones to accrue so-called "good time."

This means for every day a prisoner showed good behavior behind bars they were allowed to knock a day off the end of the time they are required to remain in prison before the state is required to grant them parole.

Since Local 2 Investigates began reporting on this issue nearly two years ago, Bexar County District Attorney Susan Reed announced she was re-opening the old cases against Jones. Reed said she is hoping enough evidence can be found to prosecute Jones on at least one other case and keep her in prison.

Even though the state has to release Jones in 2018, Texas law requires that she be granted a parole review every one to three years. As for her current parole review, the board will make a decision by next week.

If you'd like to read more about the case, check out the stories in the Quick Links section above on the left.

Copyright 2014 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.