DALLAS — A man accused of killing 22 elderly women in the Dallas area and stealing jewelry and valuables was found guilty of a second capital murder charge by a Dallas County jury Friday.
Billy Chemirmir, 49, was convicted in April of capital murder in the smothering death of 81-year-old Lu Thi Harris and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Now, he’ll receive the same punishment after being convicted of killing 87-year-old Mary Brooks, officials say.
"We have accomplished what we set out to do. There is no question that Billy Chemirmir will spend the rest of his life behind bars. We thank the family of Mary Brooks and the family of Mr. Chemirmir's other alleged victims for putting their faith in this office to ensure justice was done,” Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot said following Friday's conviction.
“The pain and loss he has caused will never be erased, but we can all sleep better at night knowing he has, in effect, received a death sentence. Bill Chemimir will die in a state penitentiary," Creuzot said.
It was Mary Annis Bartel's survival of a March 2018 attack that set Chemirmir's arrest in motion. Bartel, 91 at the time, told police that a man had forced his way into her apartment at an independent living community for seniors, tried to smother her with a pillow and took her jewelry.
Before Bartel died in 2020, she described the attack in a taped interview that was played at Chemirmir's previous trials. She said the minute she opened her door and saw a man wearing green rubber gloves, she knew she was in “grave danger.”
Police said they found Chemirmir the next day in the parking lot of his apartment complex. He was holding jewelry and cash, and he had just thrown away a large red jewelry box. Documents in the box led them to the home of Harris, who was found dead in her bedroom, lipstick smeared on her pillow.
Most of Chemirmir's alleged victims lived in apartments at independent living communities for older people. The women he’s accused of killing in private homes include the widow of a man he had cared for while working as an at-home caregiver.
Brooks' grandson, David Cuddihee, testified that he found her body on Jan. 31, 2018.
Police testified that grocery receipts showed Brooks was at Walmart the day before her body was found. Surveillance video from the store showed a vehicle matching the description of Chemirmir's leaving just after Brooks, going in the same direction.
Chemirmir faces 11 more capital murder cases in Dallas County, but no trial dates have been set. Prosecutors in neighboring Collin County haven’t yet said if they will try any of their nine capital murder cases against Chemirmir, who has maintained his innocence.