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ELECTION 2022

Kenyan Billy Chemirmir to serve life in US prison for murder

AMERICA
By Julius Chepkwony | Apr 30th 2022 | 3 min read
Bill Kipkorir Chemirmir was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of 81-year-old Lu Thi Harris. [Courtesy: Live TV screengrab] 

A Kenyan man suspected of killing a dozen elderly women in the United States of America has been found guilty of the murder of an 81-year-old woman.

Dallas Morning News on Friday reported that the Dallas County Jury took 45 minutes to convict Billy Chemirmir, 49, of the murder of Lu Thi Harris.

Judge Raquel ‘Rocky’ Jones, The Dallas Morning News reported, sentenced Chemirmir to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Chemirmir was being tried for the second time for the murder of Harris.

Chemirmir from Eldama Ravine in Baringo County has been indicted on 18 counts of murder while posing as an employee at a retirement community in Dallas.

Once inside the apartments he allegedly would smother victims with a pillow before stealing jewellery, cash and other valuables.

He allegedly killed Lu Thi Harris on March 20, 2018. A jewellery box and a set of keys linked him to the murder.

In November 2021, the trial of Chemirmir commenced at the Frank Crowley Courts Building in Dallas. Judge Raquel ‘Rocky’ Jones declared a mistrial then after a deadlock but prosecutors vowed to retry Chemirmir. A retrial date was set for April 25, 2022, leading to the conviction of Chemirmir on Friday.

The court during the November hearing heard that police recovered several items, including keys, bags of jewellery and a Kenyan passport from the suspect's car.

According to the police, Chemirmir was found throwing some items in a garbage bin on the evening of that day.

In his testimony, detective Cayce Shelton of the Dallas Police Department told the court that the keys recovered from Chemirmir unlocked Harris' front door.

At the home, he said they recovered a pillow stained with lipstick that matched Harris', and that she had lipstick smeared across her face.

Dr Travis Danielsen, who conducted a post-mortem on the body, said the cause of death was smothering.

Harris’ son-in-law, Richard Philip, identified the jewellery box recovered from the bin as belonging to his mother-in-law. He also identified a necklace with Lu Thi Harris' nickname Kim.

Chemirmir’s lawyers following the Friday decision as quoted by the Dallas Morning News said they have already filed a notice of appeal. Kobby Warren as quoted said they don’t think the state had enough evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.

“We respect the verdict of the jury. I don’t just agree with it,” said Warren, one of Chemimir’s lawyers as quoted by The Dallas Morning News.

The case against Chemirmir has since been described as circumstantial.

Chemirmir is said to have left Kenya for the US in 2003.

The son of a former paramount chief left the country at the invitation of his sister, who operated an elderly home in Dallas, where he worked before.

He allegedly differed with his sister and started doing home service between 2014 and 2016.

Chemirmir was in 2010 and 2011 convicted for driving under the influence in Addison and Dallas. In July 2012, he was arrested for assault on his then-girlfriend.

Timeline 

-March 2018- Chemirmir is arrested accused of smothering an 81-year-old woman to death

-May 2019 indicted on 11 other murders

-November 15, 2021 trial began

-November 19, 2021 judge declared a mistrial due to an 11-jury deadlock

-April 25, 2022 retrial began

-April 28, 2022 conviction and sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Lu Thi Harris 

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