DALLAS – A man accused of killing 22 women in the Dallas area will stand trial in the death of one of them after being convicted in the fatal shooting of another earlier this year.
The trial of 49-year-old Billy Chemirmir in the murder of 87-year-old Mary Brooks is set to begin Monday in Dallas. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole after being found guilty in April of the death of 81-year-old Lou Thi Harris. If convicted in Brooks’ death, he would face a second sentence of life in prison without parole. He maintains his innocence.
His first trial in Harris’ death ended in a mistrial last November when the jury deadlocked.
In the years since his 2018 arrest, police across the Dallas area have looked into the deaths of other elderly people who were believed to be natural — even as families raised the alarm about the missing jewelry. Four indictments were added this summer.
In a video interview with police, Chemirmir told detectives that he made money by buying and selling jewelry, and also worked as a caretaker and security guard.
Most of the people Chemirmir is accused of murdering lived in apartments in senior living communities where Chemirmir allegedly broke into the apartments or posed as a handyman. He is also accused of murdering women in private homes, including the widow of a man he cared for as a caretaker.
The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office decided to try Chemirmir on two of the 13 murder cases filed against him in the county and seek a life sentence instead of the death penalty. Prosecutors in neighboring Collin County have not said whether they will pursue any of their nine capital murder cases against Chemirmir.
Cemirmir’s arrest came in March 2018 when a woman, then 91, told police a man broke into her apartment in an independent living community, tried to suffocate her with a pillow and took jewelry.
Police said when they found Chemirmir in the parking lot of his apartment complex the next day, he was holding jewelry and money and had just thrown out a large red box of jewelry. The documents in the box led them to the home of Harris, who was found dead in her bedroom with lipstick smeared on her pillow.
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