Judge orders mental exam for 'Killer Nurse' Genene Jones

Jones' lawyer suggests she may be incompetent to stand trial

SAN ANTONIO – A judge on Wednesday granted a request for Genene Jones, known as the "Killer Nurse," to undergo a mental competency evaluation.

"We think that we should be entitled to both a competency exam and sanity," Jones' attorney, Cornelius Cox, said to Magistrate Judge Andrew Carruthers, during a brief hearing. "I feel that she may be incompetent to stand trial." 

Cox was appointed to defend Jones last year in her upcoming murder trial for the slaying of 11-month-old Joshua Sawyer in 1981. Jones was a nurse at a San Antonio hospital and the infant was a patient, when prosecutors said she injected the infant with a lethal drug dose.

Cox said preparing Jones' defense has become a challenge.

"My ability to have meaningful and detailed conversations with her with reference to alleged events that occurred more than 30 years ago has been diminished," Cox explained.

Prosecutors Jay Norton and Jason Goss didn't oppose Cox's request, and the judge ordered competency and sanity evaluations.

Jones had completed serving a life sentence earlier this year after she was convicted of killing a Kerrville infant by injecting her with a lethal dose of a muscle relaxant in 1984.

About the Author:

Paul Venema is a courthouse reporter for KSAT with more than 25 years experience in the role.