'Angel of Death' Pleads Guilty to 1981 Murder of 11-Month-Old

Genene Jones, AKA the ‘Angel of Death,’ Pleads Guilty to 1981 Murder of 11-Month-Old Joshua Sawyer

Genene Jones is a former nurse from Texas who now carries the nickname the “Angel of Death.” During her time as a nurse, Jones is believed to be responsible for more than six dozen children’s deaths, KIRO 7 reports.

According to Texas Monthly, despite being suspected of multiple murders, Jones has only ever been convicted of one. However, on January 16, the Angel of Death pled guilty to the 1981 murder of an 11-month-old named Joshua Sawyer.

Back in 2017, Jones pled not guilty to the five murder charges that were filed against her. At the time, she was set to be released on parole in March 2018 due to overcrowding in the prison and “good time.” Then, two years later, the 69-year-old former nurse unexpectedly asked for a plea deal, Texas Monthly reports.

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The request comes just one month before Jones was set to go to trial of the first of the five murder charges. The first trial was for Sawyer’s death.

Sawyer’s mom, Connie Weeks, made a short statement at the plea deal hearing. She spoke directly at the 69-year-old, saying, “I’m glad that you will never see daylight. I hope you live a long and miserable life behind bars.”

Genene Jones 'Angel of Death' Pleads Guilty to 1981 Murder
KIRO 7

Genene Jones, AKA the ‘Angel of Death,’ Pleads Guilty to Murder More Than 30 Years Later

Over 30 years ago, Genene Jones was a nurse in the pediatric intensive-care unit at San Antonio’s charity hospital, which is now known as University Hospital. The five children whose death’s she was charged with were anywhere from three months to two years old, KIRO 7 reports. She used powerful drugs to allegedly claim these children’s lives.

Along with Sawyer, the other four children have been identified as Rosemary Vega, 2, Richard “Ricky” Nelson, 8 months, Patrick Zavala, 4 months, and Paul Edward Villarreal, 3 months.

The 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift Jones worked during her time at the hospital eventually became known on the inside as “the death shift” after so many sick children lost their lives. However, because she worked in the PICU, it was difficult to prove that she was the reason behind the deaths.

Genene Jones 'Angel of Death' Pleads Guilty to 1981 Murder
KIRO 7

Once Jones was fired and then re-hired at a nearby small-town pediatric clinic, the problems reportedly followed her, according to Texas Monthly. In just one month, “eight children with routine medical problems stopped breathing; one of them died.” It was later found that the former nurse had injected the children with powerful muscle relaxers.

The child who passed was identified as 15-month-old Chelsea McClellan. Jones was sentenced to 99 years, as a result, in 1984.

Prior to accepting the plea deal, the 69-year-old maintained her innocence all those years. However, it’s been reported that Jones confessed during a 1998 prison interview, telling her parole officers, “I really did kill those babies.”

Now after pleading guilty to Sawyer’s death, as Texas Monthly reports, Jones was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. However, she won’t be able to apply for parole until 2038. She will be 87 years old.

Genene Jones 'Angel of Death' Pleads Guilty to 1981 Murder
KIRO 7

After signing the plea deal, the presiding judge, Judge Frank Castro, said this of Jones’s life sentence, “[It] doesn’t come close to what you did to these families and the tragedy that you caused. You took God’s little precious gift: babies, defenseless, innocent … I truly believe your ultimate judgment is in the next life.”

Because the plea deal could result in the dismissal of the four other murder cases, it also allows each of the families to make an impact statement in the presence of Genene Jones. It’s unclear when those statements will be made.

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