Man charged in 18 Texas deaths says he’s 'not a killer'

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A man charged with killing 18 older women in the Dallas area over a two-year span said in a newspaper interview that he is innocent and will be acquitted in the case.

Billy Chemirmir remains in the Dallas County Jail as he awaits an April 25 retrial after the first jury to hear a murder case against him deadlocked. In November, his murder trial in the death of 81-year-old Lu Thi Harris ended in a mistrial.

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During a phone interview from jail last week, Chemirmir denied all the charges against him and told The Dallas Morning News that he is “100% sure I will not go to prison.”

Defendant Billy Chemirmir listens to motions and language being discussed and sent to the jury in his capital murder trial at the Frank Crowley Courts Building in Dallas, Nov. 19, 2021. 
(Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool)

“I am not a killer,” Chemirmir told the newspaper. “I’m not at all what they’re saying I am. I am a very innocent person. I was not brought (up) that way. I was brought (up) in a good family. I didn’t have any problems all my life.”

Chemirmir was arrested in March 2018 after 91-year-old Mary Annis Bartel said a man forced his way into her apartment at an independent living community for seniors in the Dallas suburb of Plano.

When police tracked Chemirmir to his nearby apartment following the attack on Bartel, he was holding jewelry and cash. Documents in a large red jewelry box police say he had just thrown away led them to a Dallas home where Harris was found dead in her bedroom, lipstick smeared on her pillow.

Police allege that Chemirmir used his work as a caregiver to stalk luxury senior living communities in Dallas and Collin counties, posing as a worker to get into the apartments of elderly women before smothering them with a pillow and stealing their valuables.

Defense attorney Kobby Warren, standing, right, listens to attorney Mark Watson, top left, as his client Billy Chemirmir, seated right, waits for motions and language being sent to the jury in his capital murder trial at the Frank Crowley Courts Building in Dallas, Friday, Nov. 19, 2021. He was joined by private investigator Tonia Silva seated, left. 
(Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool)

Chemirmir told the newspaper he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He said that other family members, who have declined to to speak to the newspaper, operate other senior living homes in the Dallas area where no suspicious deaths have been reported.

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“If I was a killer, I could’ve killed all those ladies,” he said. “Nobody has been killed there.”

Chemirmir told the newspaper he was born and raised in Kenya’s Rift Valley and that he’s the son of a wealthy farmer. Chemirmir said he began working as a caregiver in Kenya and he moved in 2003 to the U.S., where he sold cars and began working as a senior caregiver in Dallas.

Billy Chemirmir
(Dallas County Sheriff’s Office via AP, File)

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Cheryl Pangburn, whose mother, Marilyn Bixler, was killed in 2017 and is suspected of being one of Chemirmir’s alleged victims, said she was disappointed that he was reaching out to journalists to try and sway public opinion toward him.

“You hope that he feels some kind of remorse, and the fact is he feels nothing,” Pangburn said. “I cannot comprehend that the human mind can work that way.”

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