Local News

March 12, 2014

‘I don’t know how to react’

Friend said he spoke to accused killer hours after murder

When Ibrahim Max answered his phone Monday morning around 10, he was talking to a friend and fellow lover of music.

Although something felt off about their brief conversation, Max didn’t know he was also talking to an accused killer.

Max, 24, was stunned to learn police had arrested his friend Skyy Raven-Marie Mims for  killing Dahyabhai Kalidas Chaudmari, 37, a clerk at the Hi-Tech Fuel gas station in Dalton on Sunday night. Mims, 21, of Detroit, Mich., was arrested Tuesday after she was found at a Bartow County residence. Her first court appearance was Wednesday while her bond hearing is Friday. Mims is being held at the Whitfield County jail without bond.

“I don’t know how to react,” Max said. “She did not tell me she was in any trouble when we talked. It makes sense now. She seemed bothered. She told me that she was looking for another phone to use and I didn’t know why.”

Max, who now works and lives in Maryland, said he was not making any judgment on her guilt or innocence. He said he was not aware of all of the details surrounding the incident.

He kept up with Mims despite distance and became “close friends” with her even after moving from Detroit. He said he was planning to email Mims a music track next week so she could add vocals.

Max said he was working at a car rental kiosk in the Detroit Metropolitan Airport roughly three years ago when, on break, he met Mims. A mutual friend, a taxi driver who drove people to and from the airport, introduced Mims to Max because of their shared aspirations in music, Max said. Mims has several hip hop songs posted online.

“I told her to check out my music, we exchanged contact information,” he said. “She was a very positive person, very bright lady. We became close over the years.”

Max said Mims had been “struggling,” but didn’t know any specifics.

“Most of the time, she would tell me things,” he said. “Her personal life, what she was going through. She opened up to me, but she only opened up to me to the extent that I had a hint that things were not as good in her life as she wanted them to be.”

So how does a young, aspiring singer from Detroit end up at a Dalton gas station and kill a clerk on a late Sunday night, as authorities have accused Mims of doing?

Max said she might have been desperate for money.

“That’s the only way I could picture this happening,” he said.

Mims, according to Max, had been trying to get her music recognized and was visiting Atlanta frequently to try to break into the music scene there.

“She said she was getting more support from people in Atlanta,” Max said. “She said it was amazing. I was like, “Why are you going to Atlanta? What’s in Atlanta?’ And she said, ‘I think I can build a fan base.’ I thought that was true. Her music was more outside the box and I thought Atlanta was a good place for that. She had so much potential there, I think.”

Max said Mims was “having a hard time” and possibly wasn’t getting support from family and friends in Detroit.

“Support plays a big part in your thoughts,” Max said. “And she wasn’t getting it from the people she wanted. It brought her down. I think that broke her thinking up. Broke her down a little bit. I don’t know if that had anything to do with Sunday. I think what happened on Sunday was something she wasn’t planning to happen. But it happened.”

Max said he offered to help Mims with money while she got her career started.

“She told me she wanted her music to pick up and it was getting frustrating,” he said.

Why she ended up in Dalton out of everywhere else in the state is a mystery to Max.

“Maybe she thought, going into a small town, that people wouldn’t pay attention,” he said. “But, no. A small town is where everyone knows each other.”

“She wasn’t, like, a troublemaker,” he added. “And killing? God. I just — killing? I can’t even — she never even started a fight. My condolences to his (Chaudmari’s) family.”

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