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HomeNewsMan accused of killing 22 older women goes on trial again

Man accused of killing 22 older women goes on trial again

DALLAS — After Mary Brooks was discovered lifeless on the ground of her Dallas-area apartment, grocery baggage from a procuring journey nonetheless on her countertop, authorities determined the 87-year-old had died of pure causes.

Even after her household found jewellery was lacking — together with a coral necklace she liked and diamond rings — it took an assault on one other girl weeks later for police to rethink.

The subsequent capital homicide trial for Billy Chemirmir, 49, begins Monday in Dallas within the demise of Brooks, one in every of 22 older girls he’s charged with killing. The fees towards Chemirmir grew within the years following his 2018 arrest, as police throughout the Dallas space reexamined the deaths of older people who had been thought-about pure, although households raised alarm bells about lacking jewellery. 4 indictments have been added this summer time.

Chemirmir, who maintains his innocence, was convicted in April of capital homicide within the smothering demise of 81-year-old Lu Thi Harris and sentenced to life in jail with out parole. He’ll obtain the identical punishment if convicted in Brooks’ demise. His first trial in Harris’ demise resulted in a mistrial final November when the jury deadlocked.

Ann Brooks speaks about her slain mom, Mary Brooks, as a photograph of her mom is displayed throughout the homicide trial of Billy Chemirmir in Dallas on Nov. 17, 2021. Tom Fox / Pool through AP file

Loren Adair Smith, whose 91-year-old mom is amongst these Chemirmir is charged with killing, might be among the many many relations of victims attending the trial, which, she stated, brings a “large bag of blended emotions.”

“On the similar time of getting that dread feeling, we’re actually glad to return and produce this chapter to a detailed,” Smith stated.

It was Mary Annis Bartel’s survival of a March 2018 assault that set Chemirmir’s arrest in movement. Bartel, 91 on the time, advised police {that a} man had pressured his manner into her residence at an unbiased residing group for seniors, tried to smother her with a pillow and took her jewellery.

Earlier than Bartel died in 2020, she described the assault in a taped interview that was performed at Chemirmir’s earlier trials. She stated the minute she opened her door and noticed a person carrying inexperienced rubber gloves, she knew she was in “grave hazard.”

Police stated they discovered Chemirmir the subsequent day within the parking zone of his residence complicated. He was holding jewellery and money, and had simply thrown away a big purple jewellery field. Paperwork within the field led them to the house of Harris, who was discovered lifeless in her bed room, lipstick smeared on her pillow.

At trial, prosecutors introduced proof that Harris and Chemirmir have been testing on the similar time at a Walmart simply hours earlier than she was discovered lifeless.

In a video interview with police, Chemirmir advised a detective that he made cash by shopping for and promoting jewellery, and that he had additionally labored as a caregiver and a safety guard.

Most of Chemirmir’s alleged victims lived in residences at unbiased residing communities for older folks. The ladies he’s accused of killing in non-public properties embrace the widow of a person he had cared for whereas working as an at-home caregiver.

Brooks’ grandson, David Cuddihee, testified that he discovered her physique on Jan. 31, 2018. He stated she had generally used a cane however was nonetheless wholesome and lively.

“She would stroll to church, she would stroll to the dentist down the road,” Cuddihee stated.

Police testified that grocery receipts confirmed Brooks was at Walmart the day earlier than her physique was discovered. Surveillance video from the shop confirmed a automobile matching the outline of Chemirmir’s leaving simply after Brooks, entering into the identical path.

Dallas County District Lawyer John Creuzot, a Democrat, determined to hunt life sentences reasonably than the demise penalty when he tried Chemirmir on two of his 13 capital homicide instances within the county. His Republican opponent has criticized that call as he seeks reelection within the nation’s busiest demise penalty state.

In an interview with The Dallas Morning Information, Creuzot stated he’s not towards the demise penalty, however amongst issues he considers when deciding whether or not to pursue it are the time it takes earlier than somebody is executed, the prices of appeals and whether or not the individual would nonetheless be a hazard to society behind bars. Chemirmir, he added, is “going to die within the penitentiary.”

Prosecutors in neighboring Collin County haven’t stated if they may attempt any of their 9 capital homicide instances towards Chemirmir.

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