DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - He's accused of being one of the worst serial killers in Texas history.
CBS 11 News has learned that the Dallas County District Attorney's Office has reversed plans seek the death penalty for Billy Chemirmir.
Billy Chemirmir has been indicted for 18 murders in Dallas and surrounding cities.
On Thursday, June 24, Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot confirmed his office will seek a life sentence instead of the death penalty.
Chemirmir accused of preying on the most vulnerable victims he could find.
Elderly women and one man ranging in age from 75 to 94 years old living alone in homes or in senior centers.
They were all suffocated and robbed of valuables until Billy Chemirmir was arrested in 2018.
Most of the deaths were believed to natural causes until authorities used technology to place Chemirmir at the scene of them.
Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot filed paperwork in 2019 with the intention of seeking the death penalty.
But that changed after Creuzot had a recent meeting with the families of victims.
In a statement to CBS 11 News, Creuzot said:
"At that time, it was explained that the Dallas County Criminal District Attorney's would request two jury trials, with the goal of securing two life sentences without the possibility of parole. If that goal is achieved, this office will ask the court to order that the sentences be served consecutively. In effect, there will be no chance for Mr. Chemirmir to die anywhere except in a Texas prison."
Creuzot's statement did not offer an explanation.
Criminal Law Attorney Toby Shook says the decision probably had to do with the costs involved in pursuing the death penalty against the Kenyan born suspect.
"Defense attorneys would file for motions to have an investigator and themselves interview people in Africa, retrieve records in Africa and that would eventually get very very expensive," said Shook. "You ask for lots of money to go to Africa and then if you find mitigation evidence how do you get those witnesses back over to the United States to testify?"
Shook says the 48-year-old accused murderer would never be eligible for parole if the DA's plan works.
"I think that's a sound strategy it gives you two shots, two separate trials to get life without parole, if he's able to get one reversed you already have him serving life without parole," said Shook.
So far none of the victim's families have spoken out against this decision.
Chemirmir remains in jail.
His trial was scheduled to begin three months ago but has been delayed.
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