Murdered by a model: Store clerk brutally killed on camera
11/03/2015 8:00 am PST
UPDATE January 22, 2019:
The Supreme Court of Georgia upheld Skyy Mims's murder conviction, but reversed her conviction on the unrelated charge of theft by bringing a stolen vehicle into the state because her attorney failed to separate the theft charge from the murder offenses, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
“The theft offense was not of a similar character to the murder-related counts, was not based on the same conduct, and did not involve the same victims or witnesses,” the court opinion states. “The crimes were committed about a month apart and involved different victims in different states.”
A convenience-store clerk is repeatedly stabbed late on the night of March 9, 2014, in Dalton, Georgia, and the attack is recorded on multiple surveillance cameras.
The clerk, Dahyabhai Kalidas "DK" Chaudhari, 37, a recent immigrant from India, is completely overpowered and shoved into a storage area. Another security camera inside the store, shows customers are totally unaware of the brutality going on in the back room. To keep the clerk quiet, the killer duct tapes the Chaudhari's mouth, then covers his nose to silence his last breath.
Once Chaudhari is dead, the assailant scrambles between the back room and the front counter and at one point actually tells customers to get out.
The killer then gets to work, raiding the register, trying to open the safe. And then the perpetrator steal a roll of $500 A Week For Life scratch-off lottery tickets, then returns to the back room one last time, stuffs the loot into a bag right next to Chaudhari's dead body and takes off.
Police look at surveillance video and are shocked to determine that the killer is a woman.
They find a key clue right next to Chaudhari's body: a cellphone; it doesn't belong to him.
They found photographs of Skyy Raven Marie Mims, a striking 6-foot-2 model, dancer and rapper, and determine she dropped her phone at the scene of the crime. Skyy Mims recently moved to Atlanta with dreams of hitting it big in the music business.
Police begin a forensic examination of the phone.
It didn't take cops in Georgia long to discover her: They got a phone tip about where she was staying. A U.S. Marshals task force sets up surveillance, and police move in and make the arrest.
The big question: How did this woman with talent and a bright future end up in this position?
It came to light that the perpetually broke Mims had played that scratch-off lottery game once and apparently become obsessed with the idea winning this particular game. She had told friends that she just had to win this prize once to take care of her day-to-day expenses so she could focus on pursuing her artistic career.
A state shrink determines Mims isn't crazy, so she's charged with murder and put on trial. In addition to the terrifying video, there s a pile of evidence against her: Her phone at the scene; the gloves the killer wore have her skin cells in them. Between her house and her car cops found the knife with Chaudhari's blood on it, a roll of red gaffers tape like that used to smother the victim. And finally, police find dozens of those $500 A Week For Life lottery tickets already scratched off in search of the prize.
Mims pleaded not guilty. In a trial that went from opening arguments to closing statements in five days, deliberations took less than an hour. Skyy Mims was pronounced guilty on all 11 counts. She was sentenced to life in prison without parole.