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Monday, October 3, 2022
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Billy Chemirmir Convicted of Murder

Crime, Featured

Billy Chemirmir listening to a private investigator during the final day of his retrial. | Image by Shafkat Anowar, The Dallas Morning News via the New York Post

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Billy Chemirmir, who was tried for the murder of 81-year-old Lu Thi Harris, was convicted on Thursday. Chemirmir is being investigated for the murder of 18 older women in the Dallas area; Dallas made progress in bringing justice for his victims on Thursday with convicting him of capital murder in the case of Harris. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty, so Chemirmir will face life in prison with no parole, the Associated Press writes. Billy Chemirmir still maintains his innocence despite his conviction. 

In November, a mistrial was declared in the first trial against Chemirmir in the case of Harris. The jurors were “deadlocked” 11-to-1 after deliberating for the day. This paralysis led Judge Raquel Jones to announce the ruling, which caused some victims’ family members to feel “devastated at the outcome of [the] trial.” 

As presented in November’s trial, Billy Chemirmir would allegedly pose as a maintenance worker to gain access to elderly homes. In most of the 18 cases, the women were found dead inside independent living homes. In Harris’s case, Chemirmir smothered the woman, took some jewelry from the home, and then fled. 

Chemirmir was found with Harris’ jewelry and the keys to her house. New evidence presented in Thursday’s trial includes a surveillance video of Chemirmir and Harris being inside the same Walmart before the murder. Detectives also stated that Chemirmir threw a red box, which contained documents that tied him to Harris, into a dumpster near his apartment complex. After Harris’ death, police linked 17 other deaths of similar circumstances as possible connections to Billy Chemirmir.     

Prosecutors also detailed Chemirmir’s alleged attacks against 91-year-old Mary Annis Bartel and 87-year-old Mary Brooks. Bartel survived an attack after a man entered her room and tried to strangle her; she gave a deposition describing a situation similar to those for which Chermirmir was known, the LA Times writes. Brooks did not survive the attack on her. Jewelry taken from Bartel and Brooks was discovered in an online listing posted by Chermirmir.

Families of the victims were pleased with Thursday’s conviction, which brought closure to many. “This one conviction represents justice for all of the families,” Shannon Dion said. Her mother, Doris Gleason, was killed in 2016. 

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