DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) The man accused of killing more than a dozen elderly women in North Texas over a two-year period is due to stand trial for one of those deaths Monday morning.
Billy Chemirmir, 48, faces up to life in prison without parole if convicted of killing 81-year-old Lu Thi Harris. Prosecutors decided not to seek the death penalty.
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Chemirmir was arrested in March 2018 after 91-year-old Mary Annis Bartel survived an attack by a man who forced herself into her apartment in a senior living community in Plano. The man said to her “do not fight me” as he tried to strangle her with a pillow and walked away with jewelry.
When police tracked down Chemirmir to his nearby apartment the next day, he had jewelry and cash. A jewelry box that police say he had just thrown away led them to a home in Dallas where Harris had died in his bedroom with lipstick smeared on his pillow.
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After his arrest, authorities announced they would undergo hundreds of deaths, signaling the possibility that a serial killer had persecuted elderly people. Over the following years, the number of people Chemirmir was accused of killing grew to at least 18.
Most of the victims were killed in independent housing communities for the elderly, with Chemirmir allegedly forcing himself into apartments or posing as a handyman. He is also accused of killing women in private homes, including the widow of a man he had cared for in his job as a home carer.
Chemirmir’s lawyer has called the evidence against their client clues.
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