US court reverses plans to seek death penalty for alleged Kenyan serial killer
A court in the USA says it will not seek a death sentence for a suspected Kenyan-born serial killer.
The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office on Thursday said that instead, it will seek a life sentence for Billy Kipkorir Chemirmir.
According to CBS 11 News, Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot filed paperwork in 2019 with the intention of seeking the death penalty but that changed after he had a meeting with the families of victims.
In a statement to the news outlet, 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.
Chemirmir who comes from Kabunyony village, Eldama Ravine in Baringo County, accused of killing numerous elderly women at assisted facilities in Texas, is facing 18 capital murder charges while civil suits accuse him of murdering eight more women.
So far, authorities have charged Chemirmir, a former healthcare worker, in connection with the deaths of 18 elderly people in Dallas and Collin Counties between 2016 and 2018.
However, he has been accused of killing 24 people from April 2016 through March 2018.
According to authorities, Chemirmir would allegedly dress as a maintenance worker or health care aid to get into homes and kill his victims, whose deaths largely went uninvestigated at the time because they were assumed to have been natural causes due to their advanced ages.
He has pleaded not guilty, and his lawyers said the cases against him are largely circumstantial.
But authorities said they had a mountain of evidence against him, including surveillance video, DNA evidence, and even an eyewitness account of a 91-year-old woman who survived one of his alleged attacks.
Investigators reportedly found jewelry, cell phones, and other belongings of the victims in Chemirmir’s apartment when it was searched in 2018.
If he is convicted, he will become one of the most prolific serial killers in Texas history.
In Texas, capital murder carries either automatic life imprisonment without parole or the death penalty with prosecutors reserving the death penalty for offenses deemed heinous.
Chemirmir, who moved to the US in the 1990s after marrying an American citizen has been described as a loner.
Soon after Chemirmir’s arrest in 2018 following suspicion that he could be a serial killer, his family and neighbours in Eldama Ravine described him as quiet and humble.
In the US, those who knew said he lived a life of exclusion.
“He didn’t want to mix with other Kenyans in Plano and he rarely attended Kenyan functions,” said a Kenyan who only wanted to be identified as Sam.