Billy Chemirmir, accused of murdering 22 elderly women, is on trial again

Billy Chemirmir, accused of murdering 22 elderly women, is on trial again


A man accused of killing 22 women in the Dallas area will stand trial in the death of one of them after being found guilty in the fatal shooting of another earlier this year.

Murder trial Billy Chemirmir, 49, in the death of Mary Brooks, 87, is scheduled 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.

Elderly death trial
Defendant Billy Chemirmir lowers his mask as a state witness is asked to identify him during his murder trial at the Frank Crowley Courthouse in Dallas, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021.

Tom Fox/AP

Dallas County prosecutors decided to seek two life sentences instead of the death penalty when they tried Chemirmir on two of the 13 murder cases filed against him in the county. 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 jewels and money and had just thrown away a large red box of jewels. 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.

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 accused of murdering Chemirmir lived in apartments in private housing for the elderly. The women he is accused of murdering in private homes include the widow of a man he cared for while working as a caretaker.

Lauren Adair Smith, whose 91-year-old mother is among those Chemirmir is accused of murdering, will be among the many victims’ relatives attending the trial, which she says is a “huge bag of mixed feelings”. CBS DFW reports.

“At the same time as we feel that fear, we’re very excited to come back and close this chapter,” Smith said.

In a phone interview from jail earlier this year, ńĆemirmir denied all the charges against him and told The Dallas Morning News that he was “100% sure I’m not going to jail.”

“I am not a murderer,” Chemirmir told the newspaper. “I am not at all who I am made out to be. I am a very innocent person. I was not brought up (raised) that way. I was brought up (brought up) in a good family. I haven’t had any problems all my life.”