An incarcerated baby killer, who authorities say took the lives of up to 60 kids while working as a nurse, has been charged with five counts of murder involving hospitalized children.
Genene Jones, 67, was rolled into a San Antonio courtroom Thursday in a wheelchair, wearing prison scrubs and a surgical mask. She pleaded not guilty to all charges.
She is serving concurrent 99-year and 60-year sentences handed down in 1984 for killing 15-month-old Chelsea McClennan and for injecting 4-week-old Rolando Santos with a near-fatal dose of a blood-thinning agent.
Prosecutors say she killed dozens of children while working as a licensed vocational nurse at a San Antonio hospital and a clinic in Kerrville, about 55 miles away.
During the highly publicized trial, the Texas nurse was dubbed an "Angel of Death."
Infants and toddlers died of unexplained seizures and strange complications during her tenure as a caretaker, authorities said.
Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood said each of the newly filed cases will be tried separately. All of the deaths occurred in the 1980s.
"This is an enormous step in the right direction to secure justice for these slain children, their families and our community as a whole," he told reporters Wednesday.
She could face up to life imprisonment for each charge. "My goal is that she takes her last breath from behind bars and she meets the Lord from behind bars," LaHood said.
Prosecutors "don't really know" what motivated her, he added.
"To me, evil is evil is evil," LaHood said. "All I know is these children were stolen from family."
The first case to be tried will be the 1981 death of 11-month-old Joshua Sawyer, who was killed with an overdose of an anti-seizure drug, LaHood said.
At her initial murder trial, prosecutors said she administered lethal doses of medication to show the need for a pediatric intensive care unit. Investigators also said she sometimes intervened with quick treatment after injecting children with overdoses so she could look like a hero.
Previous prosecutors said Jones wasn't charged with additional counts because many hospital records from the time had been accidentally destroyed.
When LaHood became prosecutor in 2015, he established a task force to reopen cases involving Jones.