Hearing reveals possible defense for former dialysis nurse accused of murder

Garlin Kelley
Garlin Kelley

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Kimberly Saenz faces the death penalty for the allegations against her, but Friday her attorney showed a glimpse of their defense strategy.

Her lawyer, Ryan Deaton, is asking for internal email communication from DaVita.

The defense says they believe there is some problems within the company that caused the deaths.

An attorney for the company, Joel Sprott, told Judge Barry Bryan there is "absolutely no cover up at all."

The defense went on to ask for treatment records of patients transported to hospitals during or after treatment at DaVita around the time the allegations surfaced against Saenz.

There have been a number of hearings in the courthouse and the trial itself has been delayed several times. But, family members of victim's say they're just ready to move on and have some closure.

"It's been hard, it's been a long three years," said Wanda Hollingsworth, a daughter of one of the murder victims, Thelma Metcalf. "So, I think as a family, you hate to say you're looking forward to something, but we're glad that it's here."

"You know there's two sides to it, so I really just want to know what really happened," said LaFrancis Kelley, the widow of Garlin Kelley, another murder victim.

He went into a coma and died four months later.

"I don't care how hard it or whatever, but I've already forgiven whatever," Kelley said. "She may be innocent or whatever. I just feel like God is the only person that knows and it's not for me to judge."

The defense says all the victims were part of a civil settlement and they want to have access to details of the settlement.

But, Bryan says, at this point the amount they settled for would not be disclosed.

Saenz's attorney also says they believe two eye-witnesses in the case were financially compensated.

Lastly, the defense wanted access to the internal investigation they say DaVita conducted prior to the police involvement.

For a woman who has waited years to hear her fate and family members who have been held in the balance, today was another step toward January's trial.

Bryan told the defense they need to come up with more narrow search terms to gain access to those internal DaVita emails.

Saenz's attorneys also requested DaVita give them the company protocol if something goes wrong during a patient's dialysis.

The company attorney says they'll work to get the defense the information.

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