DALLAS (AP), Monday marked the beginning of the trial for a man accused of killing 18 elderly women in Dallas and its suburbs during a period lasting two years.
Billy Chemirmir, 48 is currently being tried in Dallas for one of the murders. If convicted for capital murder in the killing of Lu Thi Harris (81 years old), Chemirmir could spend life in prison. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty. Monday was Monday when his attorney entered a plea of not guilty to the charge.
Glen Fitzmartin, prosecutor for the case, said to the jury in his opening statement that “this is a case regarding stalking. smothering. and stealing.”
The defense did no opening statement.
Chemirmir, 91-year old Mary Annis Bartel was attacked by a man in her Plano apartment. He forced his way in and took Chemirmirmir’s gun. He tried to put his pillow on her and then left with jewelry.
Chemirmir, who was holding cash and jewelry, was found by police when they tracked him down to his nearby apartment. Police found a jewelry box that he had just given away and tracked him to his Dallas home. Harris was found dead in her bedroom with lipstick on her pillow.
Bartel, who was 92 years old at the time of the attack, died two years later. Jurors began hearing her taped deposition on Monday.
Fitzmartin stated in opening statements that Harris and Chemirmir had checked out earlier that day at a Walmart.
Authorities announced that they would be reviewing hundreds of deaths after his arrest. This indicated the possibility of a serial killer stalking elderly people. In the following years, Chemirmir was accused in increasing numbers of murders.
Fitzmartin stated that jurors will also hear about Mary Brooks’ murder. Brooks was found dead at her Richardson home on January 18, 2018. Chemirmir has been indicted in her death.
Brooks’ death was originally deemed natural, but the medical examiner changed it to homicide after an investigation into Chemirmir’s arrest.
Fitzmartin claimed that Brooks was found dead at Walmart on the day she died. Harris was there before Harris’ death later that year. Fitzmartin claimed that Brooks’ vehicle was parked next a model vehicle believed to have been driven Chemirmir.
Fitzmartin stated, “He follows her out there, follows her home, kills and steals from her,”
Chemirmir is accused of forcing his way into apartments or pretending to be a handyman, most victims being elderly residents in independent living communities. Chemirmir is also accused of murdering women in private homes, including the widower of a man he cared for as an at-home caregiver.
Chemirmir’s attorney has declared the evidence against Chemirmir to be circumstantial.