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DALTON, Ga. — Minutes after police say they found her naked, begging them to end her life, Skyy Raven Marie Mims sat in the back of a patrol car, alone.

"Now what y'all gonna do?" Mims yelled on March 11, 2014, apparently to the officers who couldn't hear her. "How the [expletive] are y'all gonna function? Did you think about that? No!"

She continued: "Give me my mental space to grow. I saw it coming!"

And then: "What's the [expletive] holdup? Y'all got me! Y'all caught me red-handed!"

Mims, 22, of Detroit, was arrested last year on charges of killing Dahyabhai Kalidas Chaudhari, a clerk at the Kanku's Express on Airport Road in Dalton. Police say she beat him, stabbed him and smothered him before stealing hundreds of dollars and 80 scratch-off lottery tickets.

She is on trial this week on charges of murder, aggravated assault, armed robbery, burglary, possession of a weapon while committing a crime and bringing stolen property into the state. Family members, friends and interested residents packed the courtroom Wednesday to watch Mims. She wore a black hoodie, the type of shirt Chaudhari's killer wore in surveillance video.

The trial resumes at 9 a.m. today.

On Wednesday Bert Poston, Conasauga Judicial Circuit district attorney, showed the jury how it's reported Mims acted after her arrest, hoping to prove she knew she was guilty. But defense attorney Carla Marable has maintained that her client's behavior is misleading.

Marable said during her opening statement Monday that Mims knew police held an active warrant for her on a charge of destruction of property. That's why she was upset.

Poston also showed the jury how Mims behaved in jail the next day, after a magistrate judge told her she was charged with murder. Gregory Amos, a former Whitfield County Sheriff's Office sergeant who worked in the jail, said he found her in her cell, screaming and pounding a window.

He said jail officers strapped her into a chair. He wrote down what she told them:

"Y'all want me dead. I'm getting the death penalty. You need to kill me. You saw what I did."

Marable said Mims still didn't know what charges she was facing because a grand jury had not yet indicted her. Marable also pointed out that the police did not save a video of Mims in the cell that day, even though they could have.

And, Marable said, her client suffers from anxiety. She was in a small space and felt the walls squeezing in. During a pretrial hearing in March, a psychiatrist testified that Mims suffers from bipolar disorder.

Amos testified that Mims told him she had a "bad side." Shelby Vazquez, who let Mims live at her Cartersville, Ga., home the week before Chaudhari's murder, said Mims told her "Day Skyy" was different from "Night Skyy," though Vazquez believed this was a reference to her stage persona.

Mims moved to the Atlanta area from Detroit in late January 2014 to make connections in the entertainment industry. She wanted to be a rapper, dancer, fashion designer and model.

During her opening statement Monday, Marable told the jury that Mims' acquaintances framed her for the murder. She tried to support that argument Wednesday when she cross-examined Vazquez's boyfriend, Kylle Alexander-Music Harewood, a music producer from Detroit who now lives in Georgia.

Marable said a Detroit rapper named Keisha "Fiyah" Jones killed Chaudhari and blamed it on Mims. She said the two "could be twins," though Mims is about 7 inches taller and 11 years younger.

Marable said Harewood blamed Mims for the murder to help Jones. She attacked Harewood's character Wednesday, pointing out he smokes marijuana and snorts cocaine.

When called to the stand, Harewood said Mims and Jones don't know each other but that Mims' cousin began asking him about Jones after the arrest.

Harewood said he knows Mims' family and called her when he saw on Facebook in January 2014 that she was in Atlanta. He testified that she was living in a car when he invited her to live with him. In March, six days before Chaudhari's death, they moved in with Vazquez and her mother, Catherine Robinson.

Mims seemed smart, talented, passionate about her career, Robinson said Wednesday. Mims approached her one day, holding a "$500 a Week for Life" scratch-off lottery ticket. She was smiling.

She told Robinson she had won, that she was going to use the money to buy an apartment, travel, promote her music and pay for time in a music studio. Studying the card, Robinson informed Mims that she was mistaken.

But she gave her money to go buy another ticket.

"When you get rich," she told Mims, "remember me."

"Well," she remembers Mims saying, "I'll give you one of my hoodies."

Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at tjett@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6476.

 

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