Updated on 4th May, 2022: Following a 2021 jury deadlock that appeared to favour Billy Chemirmir against capital murder, a retrial was held on 25th April, 2022. Chemirmir was found guilty of the murder of 81 year old Lu Harris in 2018. The troubled Kenyan was handed a life imprisonment without the option of parole. Chemirmir has also been implicated in 17 other murder cases
When his trial for capital murder were ongoing at a Dallas county court, Billy Kipkorir Chemirmir lowered his face mask in a way to help one of the witnesses easily identify him. The 48 year old Kenyan-born has been in jail for 4 years after he was linked to the murder of 18 elderly women in Dallas and Collin counties of Texas, USA.
An upbeat Chemirmir, who awaits another court session next month insists ‘he is 100% innocent’ and that he will not be sent to prison for the said allegations.
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But the Dallas County District attorney thinks otherwise, saying that ‘there will be no chance for Chemirmir to die anywhere except in prison.’
Chemirmir Background and Caregiver Work
Chemirmir was born in Rift Valley with various sources indicating he hails from either Baringo (Eldama Ravine) or Uasin Gishu county. According to him, he is a son of a wealthy farmer.
He worked as a caregiver in Kenya before immigrating to the US in 2003 where he initially worked as a car sales agent before getting a job as a caregiver. One of his colleagues said that while working as a caregiver, Chemirmir worked for at least 16 hours a day, thereby necessitating the need of an assistant.
Arrest Over Murder Allegations
In 19th March, 2018 an elderly woman identified as Mary Bartel reported that a man had forced himself into her house and attacked her. She was smothered with a pillow and passed out, thereby ending up losing her jewellery.
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The following day (20th March) Chemirmir’s car was spotted at a senior living community area and hours later he was reported to be throwing a jewellery box into a dumpster.
Initial police investigations revealed that the box contained the name of an 81 year old woman Lu Harris. The police went to Harris’s home and found her dead.
On 21st March, Chemirmir was arrested as a capital murder suspect and jailed at Dallas County.
Linked to more murders
Because of the suspicious manner in which elderly women were allegedly found dead and their expensive jewellery missing, Chemirmir was linked to more murders as investigating officers revisited previous death reports. By May 2019, the caregiver was implicated in the deaths of at least 12 women and the number rose to 18 towards the end of December 2020.
Survives First Trial
In November 2021 as he faced a bench of 12 jurors, Chemirmir survived narrowly as all but 1 were convinced with the prosecution’s account. With the 11-1 deadlock, the trial of Harris’s death ended in a mistrial after jurors’ failure to make a unanimous decision.
The defense lawyer, welcomed the results as families of alleged victims cried foul.
“Whoever that juror was, at any point where they decided the state had not met their burden, they were entitled to stand by that belief and that’s what they did and I appreciate that. That’s what makes the system work,” said Kobby Warren, the defense lawyer.
The accused, in a phone conversation with Dallas Morning News says he’s innocent, noting that he was uprightly brought up.
“I am a very innocent person. I was not brought (up) that way. I was brought (up) in a good family. I didn’t have any problems all my life,” he said.
The 48 year old also claims that some death certificates had been edited to indicate ‘death from smothering’ while they initially indicated natural causes or heart attacks.
New trials against Chemirmir will commence on 25th April.