The murder trial against 48-year-old Billy Chemirmir began with a 91-year-old woman detailing how she was nearly murdered and robbed by Chemirmir, the prosecution alleges.
As Breitbart News has reported for years, Chemirmir, a foreign national from Kenya, is accused of murdering 24 elderly Americans in Texas from April 2016 to 2018. Dallas County, Texas, prosecutors have started the first of two trials against Chemirmir, where they are seeking a life sentence.
Chermirmir’s 24 alleged victims include:
- 83-year-old Leah Corken
- 82-year-old Juanita Purdy
- 88-year-old Mary Brooks
- 84-year-old Minnie Campbell
- 82-year-old Ann Conklin
- 75-year-old Rosemary Curtis
- 85-year-old Norma French
- 92-year-old Doris Gleason
- 81-year-old Lu Thi Harris
- 81-year-old Carolyn MacPhee
- 81-year-old Miriam Nelson
- 91-year-old Phyllis Payne
- 94-year-old Phoebe Perry
- 80-year-old Martha Williams
- 82-year-old Joyce Abramowitz
- 87-year-old Glenna Day
- 89-year-old Solomon Spring
- 90-year-old Doris Wasserman
- 86-year-old Margaret White
- 79-year-old Diana Delahunty
- 93-year-old Mamie Dell Miya
- 86-year-old Catherine Probst Sinclair
- 90-year-old Marilyn Bixler
- An 81-year-old “Jane Doe”
On the first day of the trial, where prosecutors are hoping to get a conviction against Chemirmir for allegedly murdering Harris and Brooks, the jury was shown the deposition tapes of 91-year-old Mary Bartel. Bartel’s deposition occurred sometime after Chemirmir’s arrest. She has since passed away.
In the tapes, Bartel, a devout Catholic whose husband passed away in 2015, seemingly alleges that Chemirmir broke his way into her apartment on March 19, 2018 — a day before he allegedly murdered Harris by smothering her with a pillow and robbing her of her jewelry and belongings.
Bartel claims Chemirmir entered her apartment, wearing green gloves, and told her to get on her bed before smothering her with a pillow in an attempt to kill her.
“The door was opening inward and my eyes were just fixated on these green rubber gloves that I saw. I knew instantly … my life was in grave danger,” Bartel said. “I tried to push the door shut but my perpetrator was 45 and I’m 91 so I didn’t have any success in pushing the door shut.”
“He said, ‘Don’t fight me. Lie on the bed.’ I did as he said because I knew I couldn’t overpower him, physically. He just smashed a pillow down hard over my face and my chest, and I just couldn’t breathe,” Bartel said. “I tried to move my left hand under the pillow to get to my medical alert button. … It was totally impossible for me to even because the pillow was slammed over me so hard over my head and chest.”
“After three minutes or however long … that he was just using all of his weight to keep me from breathing at all, I passed out,” Bartel continued.
Bartel was found in her apartment and eventually regained consciousness as paramedics rushed her to a nearby hospital. She noticed a diamond ring that her husband had given her 50 years ago was gone from her hand. Her engagement and wedding rings were both missing as well.
When she returned to her apartment days later, she noticed four additional pieces of jewelry missing: a gold locket from the Vatican library with her husband’s photo inside, two gold crucifixes, and a silver-plated Swarovski bracelet.
As detectives were called to the witness stand, they described Chemirmir’s arrest in May 2019. At the time of his arrest, police found tons of jewelry and cash in Chemirmir’s possession, including a jewelry box seemingly from Harris’s home with identifying documents inside.
Chemirmir was also carrying his expired visa inside his Kenyan passport.
Soon after Chemirmir’s arrest, Breitbart News exclusively reported that Chemirmir first arrived in the U.S. on a B-2 tourist visa in July 2003. Though Chemirmir was supposed to only temporarily be in the U.S., he overstayed.
Chemirmir was able to obtain a green card after marrying an American citizen in November 2007.
Chemirmir had a criminal record, Breitbart News exclusively learned, including convictions for drunk driving, trespassing, assault, and obstructing a police officer.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.
Correction: This story and headline were updated to reflect that Chemirmir entered the U.S. on a B-2 tourist visa in July 2003. His immigration status became illegal when his visa expired. However, in 2007, the federal government issued him a green card after he married a U.S. citizen.