Texas prosecutors are reportedly planning to seek the death penalty for Billy Chemirmir, an alleged serial killer accused of fatally smothering more than a dozen elderly women across the state.
Prosecutors in Dallas County will request that Chemirmir be put to death if is found guilty of capital murder, the Dallas Morning News reports, citing court documents filed by District Attorney John Creuzot’s office on Tuesday.
Authorities allege that Chemirmir, 46, posed as either a maintenance employee or a health care worker in order to gain access to the homes of elderly women living in senior citizen complexes throughout the north Texas area, according to NBC DFW. He has been accused of smothering more than a dozen women to death before making off with expensive jewelry and other valuables, the outlet reports.
Plano Police Chief Gregory Rushin outlined Chemirmir’s alleged crimes during a press conference last March, where he claimed that the accused killer once knocked an elderly women from her walker and onto the floor, according to The Star-Telegram in Fort Worth, Texas.
“Suspect Chemirmir has worked as a health care worker and has a history of impersonating maintenance personnel at a retirement community in Dallas,” he said later. “Chemirmir uses his health care experience to his advantage in targeting and exploiting seniors.”
Police zeroed in on Chemirmir as a suspect after failed attacks on two elderly women who survived, according to the Dallas Morning News. He is currently in custody at the Dallas County Jail, where his bail has been set at $11.6 million.
Chemirmir was arrested on an unrelated outstanding warrant in March 2018, after police observed him throwing a presumably stolen jewelry box into the trash, police said. A name found in the jewelry box led authorities to one of Chemirmir’s alleged victims, 81-year-old Lu Thi Harris, who was found dead in her home.
Although prosecutors are seeking the death penalty specifically in relation to Harris’ killing, Chemirmir has been indicted for the murders of 12 women, The Dallas Morning News reports. He could still be indicted for several more deaths, as authorities continue to investigate other claims made in lawsuits targeting Chemirmir.
Chemirmir’s attorney has maintained his client's innocence, according to the Dallas Morning News. A date for the trial has not yet been set.
The Kenyan immigrant, who was in the country illegally, is also facing two counts of attempted capital murder in Collin County for additional alleged attacks against elderly women, CBS DFW reports.
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