gavel on desk
Credit: Getty Images

An 18th count of capital murder has been added to charges against Billy Chemirmir, who is alleged to be tied to at least 24 deaths of older adults, most of them senior living residents.

A Dallas County grand jury have added a capital murder indictment in the death of Glenna Day, who was killed Oct. 15, 2016, at The Tradition-Prestonwood. Day’s family previously filed a civil suit in her death. 

Chemirmir has been indicted in connection with eight other deaths at the independent living, assisted living and memory care living community in North Dallas. The most recent indictments came last month in the deaths of Joyce Abramowitz, Doris Wasserman and Margaret White. The community also is facing lawsuits in the deaths of Abramowitz, White, Leah Corken, Juanita Purdy and Solomon Spring. The residents died between July and October 2016. 

A spokesperson for Tradition-Prestonwood said it regards all of its residents as family and said the deaths “by an alleged serial killer in people’s homes and at multiple senior living communities in the DFW Metroplex are a true tragedy.”

“The Tradition-Prestonwood relied on the investigations of the Dallas police, its detectives, and other reputable, established governmental entities, including the Dallas County medical examiner, the Collin County medical examiner and more,” Merrie Spaeth, president of Spaeth Communications in Dallas, told McKnight’s Senior Living. “Any death was investigated by Dallas police and the Dallas County Medical Examiner and rules as attributed to natural causes.”

She said two autopsies confirmed death by natural causes.

“Those rulings stood for more than 27 months,” Spaeth said. “The Tradition-Prestonwood has cooperated with all the authorities and will continue to do so. The allegations that staff withheld any information are absolutely false.”

Chemirmir is thought to be linked to at least 24 deaths that took place between April 2016 and March 2018. He still is being investigated for hundreds of other unsolved deaths or attacks, mostly against female residents of senior living communities.

Many of the deaths initially were ruled to be from natural causes. Families didn’t learn that authorities thought their loved ones’ deaths were murders until Chemirmir’s arrest in 2018. Texas state Rep. Jared Patterson (R-Frisco) filed HB 723 on Dec. 3 after victims’ families pressed state legislators for increased regulation of senior living communities in response to the string of suspected murders.

Chemirmir faces the death penalty if convicted. He is in jail on a $17.6 million bail. He is scheduled for trial April 5.

The family of one of Chemirmir’s suspected victims settled a lawsuit against Edgemere, another Dallas senior living community, in September 2018. All of the lawsuits allege that the senior living communities where the alleged victims lived did not do enough to protect them.