Court upholds capital murder conviction for Lufkin serial killer
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.
"It is a real vindication of years of work we put in that case,"prosecutor Layne Thompson said.
Herrington was the District Attorney during the original case and said that this affirmation upholds what he fought for.
"Based on my conversations with the victim and their families, they were convinced with Kim Saenz guilt and I think that the victims and their families have a right for justice," Herrington said.
Saenz may now appeal her case to the Texas State Court of Appeals.
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