Texas legal news in 2021 not only reflected the debates and court disputes being heard all across the country, but also frequently led those conversations. Each day through the end of the year, Androvett Legal Media & Marketing takes a look at the Top 10 Texas Legal Stories that shaped 2021.
First Case Against Accused Serial Murderer Ends in Mistrial
Dallas’ biggest-ever serial killer case finally went to trial in 2021, but the result was not what prosecutors or victims’ families had hoped.
Authorities charged Billy Chemirmir in the deaths of 18 elderly Dallas-area women over a two-year period. In November, he went on trial for the deaths of one of those women, 81-year-old Lu Thi Harris. But after deliberating 11 hours over two days, jurors released a note indicating they were “hopelessly deadlocked 11 to one” forcing Dallas County District Court Judge Raquel Jones to declare a mistrial.
The Chemirmir case dates to 2018, when a woman at an independent living center for seniors in Plano accused him of forcing his way into her apartment and attempting to smother her with a pillow. Police later tracked down Chemirmir and found cash and jewelry, along with keys to the door of Ms. Harris’ home. Following his arrest, police reviewed similar cases, leading to 18 capital murder indictments in Dallas and Collin counties. To date, he has been linked through police records, civil lawsuits and medical examiner reports as a suspect in at least two dozen deaths.
Following the mistrial, Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot said he would retry the case.
Attorneys: For the state – Glen Fitzmartin, Jaclyn O’Connor, Jerry Varney; For Chemirmir – Kobby Warren, Mark Watson
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