Former Military Nurse On Trial In Three Deaths

San Antonio, TX – A former military nurse is on trial accused of killing three terminally ill patients at the Air Force's largest hospital last year.

Capt. Michael Fontana was set Monday to begin a military court martial at Lackland Air Force Base. He is charged with three counts of murder and faces life in prison if convicted.

Military prosecutors say Fontana knowingly gave lethal doses of painkillers to three civilian patients placed on do-not-resuscitate orders at Wilford Hall Medical Center. Doctors have described the dosages as alarmingly high.

Elizabeth Higginbotham, Fontana's attorney, said Fontana was a competent and caring nurse who did his job to comfort the ailing. She said Fontana will plead not guilty.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.