Suspected Texas serial killer Billy Chemirmir faces trial this week


A suspected serial killer in Texas is on trial this week for one of nearly two dozen murders he is accused of committing.

The capital murder trial of Billy Chemirmir, 49, begins Monday in Dallas following the death of Mary Brooks, an 87-year-old woman who was found dead on the floor of her Dallas-area condo early in 2018.

Charges against Chemirmir have increased in the years since his 2018 arrest, as Dallas-area police re-examine elderly deaths believed to be natural before families sounded the alarm. Four indictments were added this summer.

Chemirmir was convicted in April of capital murder in the suffocating death of Lu Thi Harris, 81, and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He will receive the same sentence if convicted of Brooks’ death. His first trial in Harris’ death ended in a mistrial last November when the jury was deadlocked. Chemirmir claimed his innocence.

In March 2018, 91-year-old Mary Annis Bartel survived an attack and told police a man broke into her apartment in an independent living community for seniors, tried to break into her apartment. suffocated with a pillow and took her jewelry. His survival and his interviews with the police prompted Chemirmir’s arrest.

MJ Jennings poses for a photo of his mother Leah Corken at her home in Dallas. Corken was one of 18 Dallas-area women Billy Chemirmir is charged with capital murder.

Police said they found Chemirmir the following day in the parking lot of his apartment complex. He was holding jewelry and cash and had just thrown away a large red jewelry box. The documents in the box led them to the home of Harris, who was found dead in her bedroom.

At trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Harris and Chemirmir were checking into a Walmart together just hours before she was found dead.

In a video interview with police, Chemirmir told a detective that he made money buying and selling jewelry, and had also worked as a caregiver and security guard.

Most of Chemirmir’s alleged victims lived in apartments in independent living communities for the elderly. The women he is accused of killing in private homes include the widow of a man he cared for while working as a home carer.

Brooks’ grandson, David Cuddihee, testified that he found her body on January 31, 2018. He said she had occasionally used a cane but was still healthy and active.

Prosecutor Glen Fitzmartin pins a photo of victim Lu Thi Harris on a map of where she resided during Billy Chemir's murder trial at the Frank Crowley Courts Building in Dallas
Prosecutor Glen Fitzmartin pins a photo of victim Lu Thi Harris to a map of where she resided during Billy Chemir’s murder trial at the Frank Crowley Courts Building in Dallas.

Police testified that grocery receipts showed Brooks was at Walmart the day before her body was found. The store’s surveillance video showed a vehicle matching the description of Chemirmir leaving just after Brooks, heading in the same direction.

Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot decided to seek life sentences rather than the death penalty when he tried Chemirmir in two of his 13 capital murder cases in the county.

Prosecutors in neighboring Collin County have not said whether they will try any of their nine capital murder cases against Chemirmir.


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