Genene Jones, ‘Angel of Death,’ due in San Antonio court today

February 14, 2019

Genene Jones, the former pediatric nurse convicted in 1984 for killing a Kerrville toddler with an overdose of muscle relaxers, is scheduled to be in a Bexar County court Thursday for a psychiatric evaluation hearing.

Jones, now 68, worked in hospitals in San Antonio and for a Kerrville pediatrician in the 1980s when she was arrested in the death of Chelsea McClellan, who was 15 months old when she was injected with an overdose of succinylcholine, a medication used to cause short-term paralysis as part of general anesthesia.

She was sentenced to 99 years in prison in that case and also was found guilty of injury to a child for attempting to overdose Rolando Santos in San Antonio. Rolando survived. Jones was sentenced to 60 years in that case, and both terms were served concurrently.

A law designed to ease prison crowding that went into effect while she was incarcerated would have allowed Jones to be released in March 2018.

But before that could happen, then-Bexar County District Attorney Nicholas “Nico” LaHood presented two separate grand juries with five cases from San Antonio around the same time as Chelsea’s death, and Jones was indicted in each one.

In the new indictments, Jones is accused of murder in the deaths of Joshua Sawyer on Dec. 12, 1981; Richard “Ricky” Nelson, 8 months, who died July 3, 1981; Patrick Zavala, 4 months, who died Jan. 17, 1982; Rosemary Vega, 2 years old, who died Sept. 16, 1981; and Paul Villarreal, who was 3 months old when he died Sept. 24, 1981.

Through her attorney, Cornelius Cox, Jones pleaded not guilty to each of the charges in December 2017.

At the hearing Thursday morning in Criminal Magistrate Court, Judge Andrew Carruthers is expected to determine whether Jones is competent to stand trial in those cases.

Elizabeth Zavala covers county and state courts in San Antonio. Read her on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | ezavala@express-news.net | Twitter: @elizabeth2863