DALLAS - Accused serial killer Billy Chemirmir stands unconvicted after a Dallas County judge declared a mistrial last week in the first case Chemirmir faced. He is accused of preying on the elderly in Dallas and Collin counties.
Chemirmir is charged with the murders of 18 people for jewelry he allegedly stole and sold for money. All but one victim were women.
Dallas County DA John Creuzot says the mistrial doesn’t mean they won't get the conviction when they try Chemirmir a second time.
"We don't win every case, okay? If the perception is that every time we go to trial we get 12 people to agree with us. That’s not correct," he said. "What we're planning to do is to analyze what we may not have done as well and do better."
Chemirmir stands unconvicted after jurors hopelessly deadlocked 11-1. There were four notes to the judge and ten hours of deliberation. The hold-out juror held her ground.
"I don't know if anyone from the jury panel will reach out to us. It’s possible that they will," Creuzot said.
Reviewing the trial transcript is a critical part of analyzing the case.
"So when a case is a mistrial like this, both sides want a copy of the transcript," Creuzot said. "And we certainly want the defense to have it. We have it, and we can be more prepared."
This was a case without DNA evidence and without an eyewitness.
"Circumstantial evidence cases can be stronger than eyewitness cases," Creuzot said. "The problem is the media. And when I say media, I don’t mean the press. But I mean movies, books, etc. have made some people think that circumstantial evidence equals weak evidence. And that’s not true at all."
Last week, victims’ family members complained about not being in the courtroom.
Creuzot says he understands their desire to be in the proceedings, but COVID has changed how cases are tried.
"Even though we don’t have the opportunity under these extraordinary circumstances for families and the media to be in the courtroom, we still have an obligation to make this public," he said. "I've always said we will try him twice. We will get two convictions, and we will not stop until we get two convictions on Mr. Chemirmir.
While it’s up to the judge and her schedule, Creuzot says he expects the trial could happen during the first three months of 2022.