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Dallas County jury finds alleged serial killer Billy Chemirmir guilty of capital murder

Billy Chemirmir was on trial for the death of 81-year-old Lu Harris, one of his alleged victims, facing charges of capital murder and theft.

DALLAS — A Dallas County jury has found an alleged serial killer, who authorities said suffocated many of his elderly victims, guilty of capital murder.  

This comes five months after his mistrial. 

Billy Chemirmir was on trial for the death of 81-year-old Lu Harris, one of his alleged victims, facing charges of capital murder and theft. 

Chemirmir was accused of suffocating at least 18 women who lived at senior living facilities in Dallas and Collin counties, but police fear the number of victims may actually be more than 25.

Prosecutors said Chemirmir lived in independent living facilities where he robbed his victims of their jewelry and then suffocated them.

The verdict comes on day four of the re-trial. After less than 40 minutes of deliberation, the jury found Chemirmir guilty of capital murder, and he was sentenced to life without parole.  

Attorney John Cruezot told the victims' families in June 2021 he would not be seeking the death penalty.  

In November, Chemirmir was first tried for the murder of Harris, but a "hopelessly deadlocked" jury resulted in Jones declaring a mistrial. Jurors told Jones that one juror refused to change her stance on the trial. Despite repeated instructions from Jones to keep deliberating, the jury could not come to a consensus.

Chemirmir's retrial began Monday, April 25, after a four-hour delay due to a missing juror. 

Lead prosecutor Glen Fitzmartin gave the opening statements. 

"You are going to hear how he attacked not just one but three different individuals leaving them for dead,” said Fitzmartin.  

The jury also heard video testimony from Mary Bartel, who was attacked on March 19, 2018 -- a day before Harris was found dead in her home in Dallas. 

Prosecutors said she is the only one who survived an attack by Chemirmir. 

Bartel died before she could testify, but the state had a recorded deposition.

Prosecutors hoped the large amount of circumstantial evidence would be enough to convict this time. 

Families told WFAA they were relieved after the verdict. They told WFAA this verdict represents justice for all families.