SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Attorneys for a former Air Force nurse charged with killing three elderly patients by giving them lethal doses of medication say it would be negligent to undertreat pain for the terminally sick in their final days.

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

Jury selection was delayed Monday while lawyers discussed discovery, and it was not immediately clear when the trial would begin.

Fontana is accused of knowingly giving deadly amounts of painkillers to three civilian patients placed on do-not-resuscitate orders last year at Wilford Hall Medical Center, the Air Force’s largest hospital.

His attorneys say Fontana was a competent and caring nurse who comforted the ailing.