Attorney Insists Nurse Did Not Inject Patients With Bleach

A former nurse charged with injecting 10 patients with bleach at a dialysis clinic is being made a scapegoat by the medical facility, her attorney said Thursday.

Kimberly Saenz, 35, was charged last week with one count of capital murder and five counts of aggravated assault for allegedly poisoning patients with bleach last year. She was released on $500,000 bond late Wednesday.

Attorney Ryan Deaton said there was no motive and accused the DaVita Inc. facility in eastern Texas of trying to steer the case toward a scapegoat.

"The investigation is very narrow," Deaton said. "I think when the dust settles, the truth will come out."

Lufkin police did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

DaVita spokesman Richard Grenell said the company, which fired Saenz after police said two witnesses reported seeing the nurse draw bleach into syringes, believes "legal system will deliver justice."

Authorities first charged Saenz in May with two counts of aggravated assault for allegedly injecting bleach into patients, both of whom survived. The capital murder count handed up last week covers five patients, while the aggravated assault counts cover five others who survived.

Deaton said he believed it was normal for DaVita to use bleach in its dialysis procedures. The chemical is used to clean the internal parts of the dialysis machines, but the tubing is not reused from one patient to the next.

Saenz is scheduled to be arraigned in Angelina County on April 17. Her release was first reported by The Lufkin Daily News.