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Billy Chemirmir found guilty of capital murder in death of Mary Brooks

Billy Chemirmir found guilty of capital murder in death of Mary Brooks
Billy Chemirmir found guilty of capital murder in death of Mary Brooks 00:35

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) —  On Friday, a Dallas jury found Billy Chemirmir guilty of capital murder in the death of 87-year-old Mary Brooks.

Chemirmir, 49, was sentenced to life in prison without parole in April after a jury found him guilty in the smothering death of 81-year-old Lu Thi Harris. This was the second trial in Harris' case; the first ended in November 2021 with a hung jury after a single holdout juror forced the judge to declare a mistrial.

He now faces a second life sentence for Brooks' murder.  

Brooks was found dead on the floor of her Dallas condo with grocery bags from a recent shopping trip still on her countertop. Authorities initially believed that the 87-year-old had died of natural causes. 

Even after her family discovered jewelry was missing — including a coral necklace she loved and diamond rings — it took an attack on another woman weeks later for police to reconsider.  

Brooks' grandson, David Cuddihee, testified that he found her body on Jan. 31, 2018. He said she had sometimes used a cane, but was still healthy and active.

"She would walk to church, she would walk to the dentist down the street," Cuddihee said.

Police testified that grocery receipts showed Brooks was at Walmart the day before her body was found. Surveillance video from the store showed a vehicle matching the description of Chemirmir's leaving the parking lot just after Brooks, going in the same direction.

Brooks and Harris are among the 22 older women Chemirmir has now been accused of killing. Most of his alleged victims lived in apartments at independent living communities for older people, but Chemirmir is accused of killing multiple people in their private homes as well.

In most of the cases he is a suspect in, Chemirmir would force his way into the victims' residence or pose as a handyman. But in at least one instance, Chemirmir used his job as a caretaker to gain access to the alleged victim.

Chemirmir was finally arrested in March 2018 after 91-year-old Mary Annis Bartel reported an attack to police. Following his arrest, authorities announced they would review hundreds of deaths, signaling the possibility that a serial killer had been stalking older people.

Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot previously stated that his office would not pursue the death penalty in the cases its handling, but Chemirmir could face capital punishment in other jurisdictions. He was charged with four more counts of murder in Collin County this past June.  

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