A serial killer accused in the deaths of nearly two dozen women and convicted of murdering two was found dead in his prison cell.
Billy Chemirmir, 50, was discovered lifeless at Coffield Unit in Tennessee Colony on Tuesday morning and his cellmate was identified as the assailant, according to Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokeswoman Hannah Haney.
Chemirmir was serving two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole, after prosecutors declined to seek the death penalty.
A former healthcare worker, Chemirmir allegedly killed 13 elderly women in their homes in Dallas County and nine women in Collin County, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Chemirmir is accused of smothering the women at their homes or senior centers and then stealing their jewelry to turn around and sell.
The deaths of many of the women were initially ruled as owed to natural causes. Then one victim, Mary Bartel, 91, told cops that Chemirmir tried to smother her at a retirement center using a pillow and that he stole her jewelry after she fainted. That was when police re-opened their investigation into him, People reported.
Cops soon discovered Chemirmir outside his apartment throwing away a big red case and holding jewelry and money. Papers in the jewelry box led investigators to the home of Lu Thi Harris, 81, who was found dead the prior day with lipstick on her pillow.
Chemirmir was convicted of killings of Harris and Mary Brooks, 87.
Still, he insisted he was innocent.
‘I am not a killer. I’m not at all what they’re saying I am. I am a very innocent person,’ Chemirmir told the Dallas Morning News last year.
‘I was not brought (up) that way. I was brought (up) in a good family. I didn’t have any problems all my life.’
Victims’ families have been notified of Chemirmir’s death. The identity of the assailant was not immediately disclosed.
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