Man accused of murdering 18 elderly women in a two-year rampage faces a retrial

Billy Kipkorir Chemirmir of the US denies killing 18 elderly women over a two-year period – but he will face another jury trial after the first failed to decide his fate

Billy Kipkorir Chemirmir is accused of murdering 18 elderly women over a two-year period
Billy Kipkorir Chemirmir is accused of murdering 18 elderly women over a two-year period

A suspected serial killer accused of murdering 18 elderly women during a two-year rampage faces a retrial after the jury failed to reach a majority verdict.

Billy Chemirmir, 49, faces life in prison without parole if convicted of capital murder in the asphyxiation of 81-year-old Lu Thi Harris.

Prosecutors said he followed Walmart’s widow home, killed her, and stole her jewelry and cash.

Chemirmir faces murder charges in all 18 of the women’s deaths: 13 in Dallas County and five in nearby Collin County, but claims he is innocent.

But the alleged killer will face a jury for the second time after a trial in November and will achieve a deadlocked verdict that will leave the jury utterly divided by the case.

Lu Thi Harris


Dallas County Court Records)

Anne Conklin


Dallas County Court Records)

Chemirmir is currently said to be on trial only over the death of Ms Harris.

Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot, who is not seeking the death penalty for the murder of Ms Harris, has said he plans to try Chemirmir for at least one other death, although he has not said by whom.

Loren Adair Smith, whose 91-year-old mother, Phyllis Payne, is among those charged with Chemirmir’s murder, said she was shocked by the November trial and planned to attend the retrial.

“We want justice and we want closure and we want him to be able to stop hurting anyone,” Smith said.

Chemirmir was arrested in March 2018 after 91-year-old Mary Annis Bartel said a man broke into her home in an independent residential community for the elderly and pushed a pillow in her face.

Bartel, who survived the attack, later found that her jewelry was missing.

When officers tracked Chemirmir to his nearby home after the attack, police said he was carrying jewelry and cash.

Documents in a large red jewelry box that police say he had just thrown away led them to a home where Harris lay dead in her bedroom, lipstick on her pillow.

The number of alleged victims has risen since Chemirmir’s arrest, as many of the families claim they only learned of their loved one’s death months or years later, when authorities suspected they had been killed and informed loved ones.

Most of the victims accused of murder by Chemirmir were found dead in their homes in self-employed senior housing communities, where he allegedly broke into or posed as a handyman.

He is also accused of killing women in private homes, including the widow of a man he cared for in his job as a home caretaker.

Although Chemirmir was not tried in Harris’s death until November, the jury was also briefed on the attack on Bartel and the murder of 87-year-old Mary Brooks, who was found dead at her home about six weeks before Chemirmir was arrested.

Chemirmir told police in a videotaped interview played at his trial that he made money buying and selling jewelry and also worked as a home orderly and security guard.

The suspect’s lawyers dropped their case without calling witnesses or presenting evidence.

They dismissed the evidence against their client as “quantity over quality” and claimed that prosecutors had not proved Chemirmir’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Prosecutor Glen Fitzmartin denied this allegation.

He said he proved Chemirmir and Harris were in a Walmart at the same time, that he was in possession of her property two and a half hours later, and that she had been choked.

The case continues. Man accused of murdering 18 elderly women in a two-year rampage faces a retrial

Fry Electronics Team

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