Texas authorities have added to the murder accusations against former pediatric nurse Genene Jones, who is suspected of killing as many as 60 children

By Jeff Truesdell
June 23, 2017 01:57 PM
Credit: AP

Texas authorities have added to the murder accusations against a former pediatric nurse who is already serving time in prison and is suspected of killing as many as 60 children.

Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood last month charged Genene Jones — nicknamed by media as the “Angel of Death” — with murder in the 1981 death of 11-month-old Joshua Sawyer, who was killed via a fatal overdose of the anti-seizure drug Dilantin at San Antonio’s Bexar County Hospital.

On Wednesday Hood announced Jones had been indicted on another murder charge, this one for the 1981 death of 2-year-old Rosemary Vega, according to a statement from his office obtained by PEOPLE.

Both charges come as the 66-year-old Jones — now behind bars in the state’s Lane Murray Unit in Gatesville following convictions on similar crimes — is scheduled for a mandatory release in March 2018.

She was sentenced in 1984 to serve 99 years for murdering 15-month-old Chelsea McClennan in 1982 via a fatal overdose she administered at a clinic in Kerrville, Texas. She was also found guilty of injury to a child and sentenced to 60 years for injecting 4-week-old Rolando Santos in 1982 with the blood thinner Heparin. (Rolando survived.)

Due to a prison overcrowding law in effect at the time of she was sentenced for those convictions, Jones is now scheduled for early release, according to prosecutors, who reportedly said the new charges are in an effort to keep her in custody.

“She is pure evil and justice warrants that she be held accountable for the crimes she committed,” LaHood said in a statement last month, vowing that his office “will attempt to account for every child whose life was stolen by the actions of Jones.”

“Our only focus is justice,” he said.

At Wednesday’s news conference announcing Jones’ second new murder charge, LaHood said, “The evidence we presented was legal and ethical and we believe it will show Ms. Jones is guilty of murder. That’s why we’ve taken our time. We did not react. We’ve done our due diligence, we have a strong team working on this case. We’ve thought of all the legal issues.”

Genene Jones
| Credit: Texas Department of Criminal Justice. via AP

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LaHood also said that he had spoken to the family of Rosemary Vega.

“I think that they both can say they didn’t think this day would ever come,” he said. “So it’s bittersweet, because they still have been cheated out of a life with their precious baby, but yet they’re hoping she [Jones] will be held accountable.”

Authorities have said they suspect Jones may have killed up to 60 children who died during or after her shifts at various hospitals and clinics in the San Antonio area between 1977 and 1982. She has reportedly continued to proclaim her innocence.

The Bexar County grand jury recommended a $1 million bond be set for the latest indictment, according to LaHood.

Before her scheduled release next March, Jones will be extradited back to Bexar County and held pending trial on the new charges, LaHood’s office said. The new murder charge is a first-degree felony with possible penalties of 5 to 99 years or life in prison.

Jones has not entered a plea to her new charges, and it was not immediately clear if she has retained an attorney.