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Serial baby killer to be released from prison

USA Today -  A homicidal nurse believed responsible for killing dozens of babies is scheduled for release from the Texas prison system where she was sentenced to serve 99 years.

Genene Jones, now 64, was sentenced in 1985 for killing a 15-month-old girl. She later was convicted in another attempted homicide and sentenced to a concurrent 60-year term.

Prosecutors believe she may have been responsible for the deaths of more than 40 infants at hospitals where she worked in Kerrville and San Antonio by injecting the babies with powerful muscle relaxants, killing them in their cribs.

"This is an individual who should never be out of prison," said Susan Reed, the Bexar County district attorney who has launched an effort to find evidence to convict Jones of another crime.

The case has been the subject of lurid true-crime books and at least two movies. Stephen King fans find similarities between Jones and Annie Wilkes, the fictional killer nurse that actress Kathy Bates won an Oscar for portraying in the film version of Misery.

But to this day, mothers still grieve, cherishing photographs of newborns who never came home from the hospital.

"And I only have one picture of her," said Linda Ybarbo, who lost a newborn daughter. "They gave me that picture the day she passed away. As a young mother, it was your baby. She was an angel."

Fathers continue to go over the details of their children's deaths in their minds.

"It was a really rough time," said George Planos, who also lost a newborn daughter. "I'm like, 'But you just told us today she was getting better. What's going on? Why did she die?' And they said, 'We don't know.' "

Nick Rothe, prosecutor in the case, recalled her lack of emotion about the deaths.

"Very strange," he said."You would think maybe you'd get a tear or a smile about something. But I never saw it. And I saw a lot of her every day."

Jones' case is scheduled for a routine parole hearing Wednesday here. Crime-victim advocates believe her request for parole will be rejected and officials will order her to remain in prison.

But under mandatory release laws from the 1980s designed to relieve prison overcrowding, even the most violent and dangerous criminals were credited with three days in prison for every day of good behavior behind bars. The law has since been revised, but it still applies to criminals convicted during that era.

As a result, Jones is scheduled for release in 2017.

 
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