Convicted murderer and suspected serial killer found dead in Texas cell

Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Convicted murderer and accused serial killer Billy Chemirmir has been found dead in his cell, according to authorities who said he was killed by his cellmate.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said Chemirmir was found dead Tuesday morning at the Coffield Unit in Tennessee Colony, and that his cell mate, who was similarly serving a murder sentence, was responsible.

"I won't be mourning the murder of convicted serial killer Billy Chemirmir. Rather, my thoughts today are with the families of the precious ladies he murdered," Collin County Criminal District Attorney Greg Willis said in a statement.

"These families have been through more than we can imagine, and I pray that someday they can find peace."

Chemirmir was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in April 2022 for the 2018 murder of 81-year-old Lu Thi Harris. In October, he was convicted of capital murder for the death of 87-year-old Mary Brooks.

He had been charged with killing 22 elderly women -- 13 in Dallas County and Nine in Collin County -- during a two-year killing spree.

Family members of victims Chemirmir is accused of having killed spoke to the press following the news Tuesday, with many stating they were still processing his death.

"It's shocking but there is a relief that this part of my nightmare, our nightmare, is over," Shannon Dion said. Dion's mother, 92-year-old Doris Gleason, was killed in October 2016 at a senior living complex. Chemirmir has been accused of her murder.

"My mother died in fear. This man did not have a peaceful passing. There is some relief in feeling that he didn't get off easily."