Billy Chemirmir is an immigrant from Kenya who is accused of being one of the worst serial killers in Texas history.
Chemirmir allegedly posed as a maintenance man or medical professional to gain access to people’s homes. He targeted elderly women, many of whom lived in senior living facilities. The victims were smothered to death and then had their jewelry stolen.
Chemirmir has been in custody since 2018, but his first trial only started last Monday. This trial was for the murder of Lu Thi Harris, 81. In 2018, a victim reported that Chemirmir tried to smother her, but she only passed out and regained consciousness later. During the investigation of Chemirmir, items he had thrown in the trash led them to Lu Thi Harris, whom they found murdered.
Another survivor also fingered Chemirmir as her attempted killer. Chemirmir was initially charged with one murder but has since been indicted for seventeen others. The families of at least six other murder victims have named Chemirmir as the suspect as well.
After eleven hours of deliberations, the jury declared that a lone member refused to convict. The judge has declared a mistrial. Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot says his office will re-try the case.
Loren Adair-Smith, the daughter of one victim, told the Dallas Morning News, “We are devastated at the outcome of this trial. We are sickened that we have to come back and hear the same evidence again.”
The juror’s identity is unknown, but for decades there has been a growing phenomenon where Black members of juries will refuse to convict any Black suspect, even in cases of murderer.