DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Advocates for victims who may have been murdered at the hands of suspected serial killer Billy Chemirmir are applauding the Dallas County District Attorney’s decision to seek the death penalty.
Chemirmir has been indicted for 12 murders and accused of seven more in lawsuits.
Those numbers alone warrant this decision according to legal experts following the case.
Chemirmir remains in jail with bond set at $11 million.
There have been nine deaths of elderly residents at The Tradition-Prestonwood now under suspicion because Chemirir’s phone showed him at the assisted living facility the day some of them died and they had valuables such as jewelry missing.
Authorities say Chemirmir dressed as a health care worker to avoid suspicion and entered rooms at senior living facilities where he suffocated elderly residents and robbed them.
The deaths were initially thought to be by natural causes until a task force started tracing Chemirir’s movements.
Quentin Brogdon filed a lawsuit this week for the family of Doris Wasserman.
The 90-year-old died an hour after this family visit and the lawsuit says jewelry was missing and that cell phone tracking shows Chemirmir was in the complex.
“Given the heinous nature of these crimes, the wicked devious way they were done, the fact they involve exploring elderly helpless residents and murdering them for economic gain or maybe the thrill of it it just does not surprise me that that is on the decision tree with Billy Chemirmir,” said Brogdon.
The Dallas County DA’s Office declined to comment.
It’s the first case this year that John Cruezot has filed motions with plans to seek a death sentence for a capital murder.
Defense attorney Pete Schulte said seeking the death penalty allows prosecutors to use it as a bargaining chip to get Chemirmir to confess to a still unknown number of murders.
“There could be a deal there that ‘if you cooperate, you tell us all this information and you want to plead guilty,’ a judge can sentence him to life without parole in the prison system,” said Schulte.