After being convicted of capital murder in the death of one of the 22 elderly women he was charged with killing, a man who investigators believe to be a serial killer is standing trial in another of the Texas women’s deaths.
Monday saw the start of the capital murder trial against Billy Chemirmir (49), in connection to Mary Brooks’ death at 87 years old. According to CBS.
Brooks was found in her Richardson house, dead on January 8, 2018. Fox 4 reports that this is what local outlets are saying. Groceries were reportedly still on the counter and Brooks’ safe and jewelry were missing when she was found.
Brooks’ death had originally been deemed natural, but after an investigation following the arrest of Chemirmir, the medical examiner changed the cause of death to homicide, According to The Associated Press.
Kelly Pagel, Richardson Police Sergeant, testified that Chemirmir’s phone pinged from Walmart to Brooks’ house, placing him at-the-scene of the crime. Chemirmir also sold Brooks a rare piece on the site Offer up the next day.
According to the AP, Mary Annis Bartel (91 at the time) told police that Chemirmir had entered her apartment in an independent senior living community.
According to the outlet, Bartel — who died in 2020 — reported he tried to smother her with a pillow and took her jewelry.
Plano police began investigating Chemirmir in 2018 after Bartel submitted a report. During the investigation, they found documents and the keys to the late Lu Thi Harris’ home in his possession, in addition to her jewelry box discarded in a nearby dumpster, according to reports.
According to CBS, Harris was found dead in her bedroom after she applied lipstick to her pillow.
During Chemirmir’s trial for the death of 81-year-old Harris in November 2021, Glen Fitzmartin, the prosecutor, stated that Harris and Chemirmir were both shopping at Walmart at the same moment according to The Associated Press.
“This is a case about stalking, smothering and stealing,”Fitzmartin addressed the jury.
According to Fox 4, authorities claimed that Chemirmir followed Harris from nearby Walmart and smothered Harris with a pillow.
During Chemirmir’s trial for Harris’s murder, Bartel said in a video deposition that she knew she was in “grave danger”The moment she opened her front door, it was a beautiful sight. “My eyes were just fixated on these green rubber gloves that I saw … I knew instantly when I saw those two green rubber gloves, number one, I should not have opened the door, number two, my life was in grave danger,”Bartel spoke on the video.
Chemirmir’s November 2021 trial in Harris’ death ended in a mistrial when the jury deadlocked due to one jury member. He was found guilty during the retrial in April 2022.
He was sentenced to life in prison for the crime without parole.
After Chemirmir’s arrest for the death of Harris in 2018, Dallas authorities re-examined the deaths of other older people that had been considered natural despite their families raising suspicion around missing jewelry, according to the AP.
Four indictments were added this summer, and Dallas County prosecutors sought two life sentences for Chemirmir rather than the death penalty when he was tried on two of the 13 capital murder cases against him, according to CBS. Fox 4 reports that Chemirmirmir was accused of killing a large number of people who lived in apartments in independent living communities for seniors. There, prosecutors claim that he pretended to be a maintenance worker. He is also accused of murdering women in private homes, including the widow of a man that he cared for as an at-home caregiver.
Prosecutors are seeking a second life sentence for Chemirmir in the killing of Brooks, as it would the possibility of his sentence getting thrown out on appeal less likely, according to Fox 4.
Prosecutors in neighboring Collin County have not said if they will try any of their nine capital murder cases against Chemirmir.
Chemirmir, in a video interview, told police that he had made money selling and buying jewelry, and had also worked as caregiver and security guard. According to KKTV.
Loren Adair Smith’s 91-year old mother is one of the Chemirmir suspects in the killings. She will be among many relatives who are attending the trial. According to CBS.
Smith claimed that the trial was a good opportunity to learn. “huge bag of mixed feelings.” “At the same time of having that dread feeling, we are really glad to go back and bring this chapter to a close,”She spoke.
According to reports, Chemirmir continued to deny all charges. Chemirmir was interviewed by telephone from prison earlier in the year. The Dallas Morning NewsThat he is “100% sure I will not go to prison.”
“I am not a killer,”Chemirmir spoke to the outlet. “I’m not at all what they’re saying I am. I am a very innocent person. I was not brought (up) that way. I was brought (up) in a good family. I didn’t have any problems all my life.”