published : 2023-11-10

Texas man receives life sentence for killing 2 hospital workers in domestic dispute

A TX attorney told jurors that Nestor Hernandez went to the hospital with 'rage, resentment, anger and a plan to kill'

A photo of Nestor Hernandez, the Texas man sentenced to life in prison, wearing handcuffs and being escorted by law enforcement officers. [Taken with Nikon D850]

A man was sentenced to life in prison Thursday after being convicted of fatally shooting two workers at a Dallas hospital last year as he argued with his girlfriend, who had just given birth to their child.

Nestor Hernandez, 31, was found guilty of capital murder in the October 2022 shooting deaths of Jacqueline Pokuaa, 45, a social worker, and Katie Annette Flowers, 63, a nurse, at Methodist Dallas Medical Center. He received an automatic sentence of life without the possibility of parole. Prosecutors didn't seek the death penalty.

Defense attorneys had asked jurors to consider a lesser charge, acknowledging that Hernandez opened fire but saying he didn’t mean to kill anyone. Taking the stand at the trial, Hernandez admitted to shooting the two women but said it was an accident.

A portrait of Jacqueline Pokuaa, one of the hospital workers tragically killed in the shooting incident, smiling brightly. [Taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark IV]

Hernandez was on parole for robbery and had permission to be at the hospital while wearing an ankle monitor.

Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot told jurors that Hernandez went to the hospital that day with 'rage, resentment, anger and a plan to kill.' Prosecutor George Lewis said Hernandez was motivated by a belief that his girlfriend had cheated on him and he wasn’t the baby’s father. During the trial, prosecutors presented evidence that he was.

Hernandez's girlfriend, Selena Villatoro, testified that he accused her of infidelity and hit her with a pistol. She said he threatened to kill her, himself, and anyone who came into the room, and when Pokuaa then entered, Hernandez shot her.

A photo of Katie Annette Flowers, the nurse who lost her life in the Dallas hospital shooting, caring for a patient with a compassionate expression. [Taken with Sony Alpha a7 III]

Hernandez testified that as he and Villatoro fought, Pokuaa tried to intervene and the gun misfired. He said he then shot into the hallway in a panic, striking Flowers.

Hernandez was shot in the thigh by a hospital police officer who arrived on the scene.

At the time of the shooting, Hernandez was on parole for aggravated robbery and had been granted permission to be at the hospital while wearing an ankle monitor.