Jury selection in the trial of accused serial killer Billy Chemirmir begins Wednesday, his attorney says.
Chemirmir, a man accused of smothering more than a dozen women living in North Texas retirement homes and robbing them of their jewelry, has been indicted on 18 total capital murder charges.
In June, the Dallas County District Attorney's Office said it would not seek the death penalty for Chemirmir, who pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In a statement, the district attorney said he met with the victim's families and told them that prosecutors would request two jury trials, with the goal of securing two life sentences without the possibility of parole.
The latest news from around North Texas.
The DA's office said they plan to seat a jury this week and begin opening statements on Monday.
If Chemirmir is convicted, the DA will ask for those sentences to be served back-to-back…. meaning "in effect, there will be no chance for Mr. Chemirmir to die anywhere except in a Texas prison."
Investigators said the women were believed to have been suffocated with a pillow or choked to death prior to being robbed, though the exact nature of their death is unknown. Investigators also said Chemirmir posed as a maintenance worker to gain access to the women's apartments and later sold or pawned their jewelry.
Many of the deaths now attributed to Chemirmir were initially listed as natural causes with the deaths often not investigated because there was no suspicion of foul play.
However, after a woman who lived at Preston Place in Plano survived an attack in March 2018, Chemirmir was identified as a suspect and arrested. Information from that investigation ultimately led to detectives investigating him for multiple deaths as they began reviewing hundreds of natural death cases to identify any other potential victims.
He has also been linked through medical examiner reports and civil case filings in six other deaths, bringing the total to 24 deaths in North Texas, according to The Dallas Morning News.
In May, House Bill 723, a bill related to Chemirmir, passed both chambers easily and will require next-of-kin to be notified when the cause-of-death on a death certificate is amended.
HB723, also known as Marilyn's Law for Marilyn Bixler, who died in December 2017 at the Parkview in Frisco retirement community, went into effect Sept. 1