DALTON, Ga. (WWJ/AP) – Public defenders say they plan to continue defending a Detroit woman accused of killing a northwest Georgia store clerk unless the district attorney decides to pursue the death penalty.
Skyy Raven Mims, a 21-year-old aspiring model, dancer and rapper from Detroit, is accused of stabbing 37-year-old Dayahbhai Kalidas Chaudhari to death in the Dalton area on March 9. She’s also accused of stealing lottery tickets and cash from the store.
Assistant Public Defender Brandon Sparks told The Daily Citizen that his office will represent Mims for now. He said if it becomes a death penalty case, his office would not have the resources to continue handling the case and other lawyers would be sought to represent Mims.
District Attorney Bert Poston has said he needs more time to review the facts of the case before deciding whether to pursue the death penalty.
The charges against Mims stem from an incident that happened at a gas station convenience store about 90 miles north of Atlanta, near the Tennessee-Georgia state border.
Mark Rogers, who found Chaudhari dead on the floor, called 911 around 12:30 a.m. Monday and told operators that the clerk’s mouth and eyes had been duct-taped shut. He told the operator that change was scattered behind the cash register, leading him to believe there had been a robbery.
Charles David Branson, another customer who was in the store earlier that night around 11:15 p.m., told police he heard what sounded like an argument between the clerk and a woman who identified herself as the man’s wife.
Branson told The Chattanooga Times Free Press that he first saw a smiling Chaudhari behind the counter, but his eyes were red as if he had been crying. Then, the clerk disappeared and Branson waited for at least 10 minutes. After using the restroom, where he thought he heard an argument involving a man and a woman, Branson said he went to the counter and saw a woman behind it.
Branson said the woman was wearing a white sweatshirt with the hood pulled tight and blue sunglasses so big they covered most of her face, so that all he could see was her nose, mouth and chin. Branson told police the woman claimed to be the clerk’s wife, and yelled at him that he had to leave and the store was closing early. Just over an hour later, Chaudhari’s body was discovered.
Two days later, police tracked Mims to a Bartow County residence where she was hiding out. Mims apparently tried flee when officers arrived, but was quickly apprehended. According to reports, police found a Kia Soul outside of the residence that matched the description of a stolen car from Michigan.
A medical examiner said Chaudhari died from a single stab wound to the back, but police haven’t discussed other circumstances surrounding the case. The killing was captured on a store surveillance camera, which was turned over to investigators. Police have said Mims and Chaudhari did not know each other.
According to reports, shortly after the killing, Mims updated her social media accounts with a one word status: knowledge.
Mims, whose last known address is in Detroit, was visiting Atlanta frequently to try to break into the music scene there, according to her friend, Ibrahim Max.
Mims remains in the Whitfield County Jail without bond. Her next court date has not yet been set.
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