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Serial killer release

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

"This is Chelsea's birthday," Patti McClellan-Wiese said, as she pointed to a picture. " Her first birthday."

A mother never forgets, never stops fighting for her child.

In 1984, McClellan-Wiese lived in Kerrville and relived the nightmare of watching her baby die in a nurse's arms on the nightly news. The nurse, Genene Jones, was convicted of killing 15 month old Chelsea McClellan in 1982 by intentionally injecting her tiny body with a paralyzing chemical during vaccinations.

"It's not even an easy death," her mother said. "You can feel, but you can't move and slowly each part of your body shuts down."

Jones is currently serving a 99 year prison sentence for killing Chelsea and 60 years for injuring another child, but they may not be her only victims. According to victim rights advocate Andy Kahan, the former pediatric nurse is suspected in anywhere from 11 to 46 infant deaths, babies who died in a San Antonio hospital where she worked before moving to Kerrville in the early eighties. Under the now expired Texas Mandatory Release law, this so-called ‘Angel of Death' will leave prison in 2017.

"There is no could. She will (leave prison)," Kahan said. "There is no could. There is no might be or perhaps. She will be. Genene Jones will be the first serial killer in this country's history to be legally released. "

Houston attorney Rick Detoto is a former Harris County prosecutor.

"Basically prior to 1996 , if your actual calendar time plus your good time equals your sentence, you are mandatory released from prison," he said. "There is no discretion."

McClellan-Wiese is not too pleased about the prospect.

"When you think about that, you think about the serial killers we had in that time frame: Dahmer, Manson, Bundy, the Atlanta killings," she said. " If any of those people would've been sentenced in Texas, the exact thing would be happening, and how would people react to that?"

Chelsea's mother is now working with Kahan to find families who lost babies at the San Antonio hospital or Kerrville clinic where Jones worked between 1978 and 1982.

"She'll have served 32 calendar years (when she's released), which quite frankly is less than one year for every infant she's credited with murdering," Kahan said.

Other than Chelsea, Jones was never prosecuted for the deaths of any of the other children who died on her watch.

"They are as important as Chelsea was," McClellan-Wiese said. " They're babies."

"(If) there's another case out there, somewhere that we can resurrect and ultimately charge Jones and convict her, that's our goal," Kahan said.

Several families, three of which relocated to the Houston area, have already contacted Kahan, but that's not enough. Kahan and McClellan-Wiese want to hear from more.

 

"People think, oh, I've spent the last 29 years and all my life has been about is getting revenge on this lady," McClellan-Wiese said. "It's not the case. I've had a great life. I've had a great family. I've had a great career, but who lets a serial killer out?"

It's been nearly three decades since television crews captured the footage of Jones walking in and out of the courtroom, and even longer since McClellan-Wiese lost Chelsea.

Over the years, she had another daughter, got a divorce, and is now a first time grandmother to five year old Brice.

"I spoil him rotten," McClellan- Wiese said. " I spoil him rotten."

She says Brice always seems to know when his "Mimi" needs some of his artwork as a ‘pick me up,' and lately, it's been often.

"You deserve to know what happened to your child," McClellan-Wiese said of the families who lost children so many years ago.

And so a mother's fight continues. This time she's fighting for the other families, for the babies she never knew, and Chelsea, the little girl she'll never forget.

 

"You just never forget what was, what could've been," she said. "Things (they'd do), what they would've been doing at this age, when they graduated high school, graduated elementary, picked out their college, picked out their prom dress, what she'd look like."

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