Nurse who trained 'Angel of Death' recalls Genene Jones' unusual behavior
SAN ANTONIO —
A woman who worked with "Angel of Death" nurse in the 1970's describes the convicted murderer as someone who was friendly, but a little rough around the edges.
Cherlyn Pendergraft was the charge nurse on the nightshift at what was then Bexar County Hospital, tasked with orienting nurse Genene Jones.
The 66-year-old now faces a second new murder charge. A Bexar County grand jury indicted her yesterday in connection with the the September 1981 death of Rosemary Vega, a 2-year-old girl.
The same grand jury had issued a murder indictment in late May, accusing her of killing 11-month-old Joshua Sawyer in December 1981. Bail was set at $1 million for each new murder charge.
Jones is accused of killing dozens of babies at what was then the Medical Center Hospital in the early 1980's.
Pendergraft worked with Jones in the same pediatric unit for two years.
While Pendergraft says she had no idea what jones was capable of at the time, she did recall Jones' unusual reaction to a premature who died during her first week at work. She took the baby to a rocking chair in the corner. Held it and started sobbing and i thought that was odd behavior for not being attached to that child..."
Pendergraft described Jones as highly confident, a quick study who was friendly, but a little rough around the edges. She also remembers her as hardworking and dedicated to her patients, especially when a code was called she was the nurse who jumped into action not wanting to relinquish control.
The two nurses crossed paths but worked different shifts.
Several months after Jones started working there Pendergraft and several nurses started noticing a pattern, an usually high mortality rate during the shift Jones worked.
"i took out the patient log and looked up admissions and deaths and all of that. There had been an increase in the death rate at the picu, in particularly on the 3-11 shift."
Shortly after noting the change, Pendergraft reported it to her supervisor, who she remembers being close to Jones.
Jones is currently serving a 99-year-term.