Man accused of murdering 18 OAP women in two-year spree set to face retrial

An alleged serial killer accused of murdering 18 elderly women in a two-year killing spree is set to face a retrial as the jury couldn't reach a majority verdict.

Billy Chemirmir faces life in prison if he is convicted of murdering 81-year-old Lu Thi Harris.

He's being accused of following the widow home from Walmart, killing her and then stealing her jewellery and cash.

He also faces capital murder charges for the deaths of 17 other women, 13 in Dallas County and five in nearby Collin Country.

Chemirmir claims he is innocent, reports the Mirror, but the alleged killer is set to face a jury for a second time.

This came after a trial in November, reached a deadlocked verdict with the jurors completely divided by the case.

Chemirmir is currently only scheduled to stand trial for the death of Ms Harris.

Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot, who is not seeking the death penalty for Ms Harris' killing, has said he plans to try Chemirmir for at least one more death, though he has not said whose.

Loren Adair Smith, whose 91-year-old mother, Phyllis Payne, is among those Chemirmir is charged with killing, said she was shocked by the mistrial in November and plans to attend the retrial.

"We want justice and we want closure, and we want him to not be able to hurt anyone again," Smith said.

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Chemirmir was arrested in March 2018 after 91-year-old Mary Annis Bartel said a man forced his way into her apartment at an independent living community for older people and held a pillow over her face.

Bartel, who survived the attack, later discovered she was missing jewellery.

According to police, when officers tracked Chemirmir to his nearby apartment following that attack, he was holding jewellery and cash.

Documents in a large red jewellery box that police say he had just thrown away led them to a home, where Harris was dead in her bedroom, lipstick smeared 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 deaths months or years later, when authorities suspected they had been killed and informed the relatives.

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The majority of victims Chemirmir is accused of killing, were found dead in their apartments at independent living communities for older people, where he allegedly forced his way in or posed as a handyman.

He's also accused of killing women in private homes, including the widow of a man he had cared for in his job as an at-home caregiver.

Though Chemirmir was only tried in November for Harris' death, jurors were also told about the attack on Bartel and the killing of 87-year-old Mary Brooks, who was found dead in her home about six weeks before Chemirmir's arrest.

Chemirmir told police in a video-recorded interview that was played at his trial that he made money by buying and selling jewellery and had also worked as an at-home caregiver and as a security guard.

The suspect's attorneys rested their case without calling any witnesses or presenting evidence.

They dismissed the evidence against their client as "quantity over quality" and asserted that prosecutors had not proved Chemirmir's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Prosecutor Glen Fitzmartin disputed that assertion.

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

The case continues.

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