LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -
The Fourth Court of Appeals in San Antonio has upheld a capital murder conviction against Kimberly Clark Saenz, who killed up to five patients by injecting bleach into their blood stream while they were receiving kidney dialysis treatment.
Saenz, 40, filed the appeal, citing jury charge error, insufficiency of evidence, ineffective counsel, improper exclusion of evidence and improper admission of expert testimony.
The three-judge panel denied all five claims and affirmed the court’s judgment.
“The San Antonio Court of Appeals dove into the record deeply,” former District Attorney Clyde Herrington said. “They got a real firm grasp of the facts and looks like they did a real thorough job.”
A jury ruled Saenz guilty of capital murder following a lengthy trial in April 2012. She was accused of five murders in 2008.
In the appeal, Saenz argued the jury charge was erroneous, as it stated the jury did not have to agree which of the five victims Saenz killed, but only that she killed two of the five.
In the opinion written by Chief Justice Catherine Stone, she states the jury unanimously agreed she committed a single offense of capital murder, under the Texas State Penal Code.
The opinion also states there was no showing of ineffective counsel from Saenz’s attorneys.
There is something extra horrid about a nurse or doctor killing people. They are people that we are taught to trust in so many ways, intimate ways. They are also seen as intelligent people so we can not just dismiss them as ‘stupid, crazy’ people. Their titles carry a certain amount of respect which also makes dismissing the crimes harder. If a drifter kills it does not seem like such a violation to the public in general.
Saenz may now appeal her case to the Texas State Court of Appeals.
In my opinion serial killers really get to many appeals. Her victims, Clara Strange, Thelma Metcalf, Garlin Kelley, Cora Bryant and Opal Few had no such chances.