In 1982, Texas nurse Genene Jones was sentenced to 99 years in prison for infanticide.
The child she killed was 15-month-old Chelsea McClellan.
In 1982, Chelsea needed routine immunizations, so her mother took her to a clinic in Kerrville, Texas. Jones was a nurse at the clinic.
“She gave her her first shot in her left thigh and she immediately started gasping for air," said Chelsea’s mother, Petti McClellan-Wiese. "Gave her another one, and she immediately just went limp and quit breathing."
McClellan-Wiese panicked and called an ambulance to rush her daughter to the hospital. Somehow, Jones snuck into the ambulance and managed to give McClellan a third shot. McClellan died.
In court, officials learned that Jones had injected McClellan with a lethal dose of Succinylcholine – a drug causing muscle relaxation and short-term paralysis.
Jones was sentenced to 99 years in prison for the death of McClellan and 60 additional years for injuring another child.
But due to a Texas law designed to prevent overcrowded prisons, Jones may soon walk free.
The law that may release her is the Mandatory Release law. The law allows criminals convicted of crimes between 1977 and 1987 to be released if their time spent in prison plus good behavior credit equals the total time of their sentencing. The law was changed in 1987 to exclude violent criminals from this provision, but the change cannot be applied retroactively.
In order to prevent Jones from walking free, Houston-area victims advocate Andy Kahan is searching for other mothers whose babies may have been killed by Jones. Though Chelsea McClellan is currently the only child Jones has been proven to kill, it is believed that she killed up to 50 children.
Before working at the clinic in Kerrville, Jones worked as a nurse at Bexar County Hospital. The hospital noticed that an unusual amount of children were dying under her supervision. Rather than investigate Jones, the hospital asked her to resign. She then went to work at the Kerrville clinic.
Two mothers have already come forward claiming that Jones killed their children. One of these mothers is Marina Rodriguez. Rodriguez claims her son died in 1981 after Jones gave him a shot.
“All of a sudden he turned blue, and all of a sudden, I started hearing code blue. And then of course they put me to the side because I'm a young mommy and I'm freaking out," she said.
Her son had a heart attack and died within minutes.
Rodriguez was 15-year-old at the time and could barely speak English. Now an adult, she plans to do everything in her power to prevent Jones from walking free.
“She's not getting out. She's not going to get out. If my son has to be exhumed to prove that she murdered him, then that's the step we'll take. They're not dealing with a little girl anymore, this is a woman now," Rodriguez said.
Jones is currently scheduled to be released in May of 2017.