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Capital murder trial of Lufkin nurse set for September

Capital murder trial of Lufkin nurse set for September

POSTED: Monday, July 11, 2011 - 9:17am

UPDATED: Monday, July 11, 2011 - 9:17am

The capital murder trial of a Lufkin nurse accused of killing five dialysis patients by injecting them with bleach is set for September.

Jury selection in Kimberly Clark Saenz’s case will start Aug. 9 and will take the entire month with each juror selected individually as the death penalty has been put into play, according to Saenz’s defense attorney Ryan Deaton.

“You individually voir dire each juror, meaning we get to ask each juror individual questions to qualify them,” Deaton said. “It generally takes three or four weeks.”

Since the allegations came to light in April 2008, Deaton has maintained that his client, now 37, is a scapegoat for DaVita Dialysis, where she worked for eight months.

Federal health officials became involved in a massive health investigation in late April 2008 after a series of patient deaths and illnesses at the Lufkin dialysis center. The center closed for nearly two months as investigators spent weeks combing through patient documents and preserving dialysis equipment for forensic testing.

Lufkin Police linked Saenz to some of the center’s patient complications May 30 of that year when they charged her with aggravated assault. DaVita fired her a day before police filed charges, according to previous reports. A statement issued by Lufkin Police last year said two witnesses saw Saenz fill a syringe with bleach and inject the substance into two patients’ dialysis lines. Both of those patients survived.

Lufkin police have not offered a motive in the case.

Read the full story here.

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