DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – District Judge Raquel Jones declared a trial on Friday afternoon, November 19, in the capital murder case against Billy Chemirmir.
The hanging jury, which began debating Thursday afternoon, said earlier in the day that it was “hopelessly stuck”.
The panel issued the statement in their third morning note to the judge.
After District Judge Raquel Jones sent a note back to the jury room explaining what their duty was and urging them to continue the discussions, the group continued their debate and sent in their lunch break the third note in which he told the court that there had been “no”. change”.
At 2:20 p.m., Judge Jones urged jurors: “Do not offend your conscience, but keep on considering.”
She went on to say: “A considerable amount of time and effort has been spent on this case when you arrive at the jury room. It is your duty to consult with each other to consider each other’s views …”
Chemirmir was charged with the murder of Lu Thi Harris at her home in Dallas.
After about an hour behind closed doors on Thursday, the jury light turned on and it was learned that they were sending a note indicating that a single juror had postponed a decision in the case.
Judge Jones took everything into account and then said, “I am inclined to send back. Please continue your deliberations. Period.”
Less than an hour later, the light turned on again and after some time was read with the locked statement. Lawyers for Chemirmir immediately asked for a trial, but the proposal was rejected.
The jury began discussions around 3.45pm on Thursday and at 7.45pm they decided to stop for the night.
The defense team requested that the group be sequestered. The judge denied the request.
If convicted, Chemirmir could face life in prison without parole. The prosecution decided not to seek the death penalty.
Chemirmir, 48, 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.
Following 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 called the evidence against their client clues.
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