Man accused of killing 22 older girls goes on trial once more

DALLAS — After Mary Brooks was discovered useless on the ground of her Dallas-area rental, grocery baggage from a purchasing 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 beloved and diamond rings — it took an assault on one other girl weeks later for police to rethink.

The following capital homicide trial for Billy Chemirmir, 49, begins Monday in Dallas within the dying of Brooks, considered one of 22 older girls he’s charged with killing. The prices in opposition to Chemirmir grew within the years following his 2018 arrest, as police throughout the Dallas space reexamined the deaths of older those that had been thought-about pure, despite the fact that households raised alarm bells about lacking jewellery. 4 indictments have been added this summer season.

Chemirmir, who maintains his innocence, was convicted in April of capital homicide within the smothering dying 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’ dying. His first trial in Harris’ dying led to 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 in the course of the homicide trial of Billy Chemirmir in Dallas on Nov. 17, 2021. Tom Fox / Pool by way of AP file

Loren Adair Smith, whose 91-year-old mom is amongst these Chemirmir is charged with killing, will likely be among the many many family members of victims attending the trial, which, she mentioned, brings a “big bag of combined emotions.”

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

It was Mary Annis Bartel’s survival of a March 2018 assault that set Chemirmir’s arrest in movement. Bartel, 91 on the time, informed police {that a} man had pressured his method into her condo at an impartial 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 mentioned the minute she opened her door and noticed a person sporting inexperienced rubber gloves, she knew she was in “grave hazard.”

Police mentioned they discovered Chemirmir the following day within the parking zone of his condo advanced. He was holding jewellery and money, and had simply thrown away a big pink jewellery field. Paperwork within the field led them to the house of Harris, who was discovered useless in her bed room, lipstick smeared on her pillow.

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

In a video interview with police, Chemirmir informed 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 flats at impartial residing communities for older folks. The ladies he’s accused of killing in non-public houses 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 mentioned she had typically used a cane however was nonetheless wholesome and energetic.

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

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, getting in the identical course.

Dallas County District Lawyer John Creuzot, a Democrat, determined to hunt life sentences reasonably than the dying 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 dying penalty state.

In an interview with The Dallas Morning Information, Creuzot mentioned he’s not in opposition to the dying 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 mentioned if they’ll strive any of their 9 capital homicide instances in opposition to Chemirmir.

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