A judge presiding over the capital murder trial of Billy Chemirmir declared a mistrial Friday after a jury hit a deadlock deliberation Thursday afternoon. It failed to reach a unanimous verdict for the suspect charged with killing 81-year-old Lu Thi Harris. 

Judge Raquel Jones was forced to declare a mistrial after having received several notes from jurors saying they remain deadlocked at 11-1. Jurors returned to the courthouse Friday morning in the hopes of coming to a decision. 

Attorneys representing Chemirmir asked for a mistrial but Jones denied the request, despite receiving several notes from jurors starting at 11 am on the deadlock. The judge told them to keep deliberating, leading the jury to bat around on a unanimous decision until 2 pm to no avail.

A juror who handed the final decision said that one juror refused to change her stance on the trial, which brought on the judge to respond by delivering a stern Allen charge. This is the formal and final call of the judge in encouraging the jury to come to a final decision. 

Jones read instructions to the jury telling them to “not violate your conscience but continue deliberations.”

At 3:20 pm, the situation was unchanged forcing Jones to declare a mistrial. 

According to Dallas News, it was not made clear why the jurors could not come to an agreed decision as the jury is not required to provide a reason for their decision or lack of it. The jurors also did not say whether all 11 jurors were in favor of a conviction or an acquittal. 

Jones received a total of 4 notes from the jury after a staggering deliberation of 11 hours in over two days.

Families of Chemirmir’s victims expressed their devastation over the mistrial decision as they encouraged prosecutors to get back on the case, citing Lu Harris’ case also represents at least 24 other alleged murders committed by the suspect. 

Chemirmir, who is accused of murdering 18 elderly women across North Texas, faces other pending capital murder charges in Dallas and Collin counties. He was arrested in March 2018 after his 91-year-old victim, Mary Annis Bartel survived the attack of the accused who had forced his way into her apartment.

The suspect was said to have lived in independent senior living facilities wherein investigators found he had robbed his victims of cash and jewelry and suffocated them to their deaths. But even with the long list of charges, Dallas County District Attorney John Cruezot said the victim’s families are not seeking death penalty for Chemirmir. 

Creuzot said he was committed to retrying the case. Chemirmir remains incarcerated in Dallas County while awaiting his other pending cases.

auditorium-6795423_960_720 Representation Image Jury Box Court Mariakray/ Pixabay