Local News

March 13, 2014

Stab wound to the back killed store clerk

Bond hearing for accused murderer called off

Homicide by a stab wound to the back.

That’s how Dahyabhai Kalidas Chaudhari, the friendly convenience store clerk working the graveyard shift at the Hi-Tech Fuel on Airport Road, was killed Sunday night, according to results from the state crime lab released Thursday.

Skyy Raven-Marie Mims, the 21-year-old authorities said murdered Chaudhari, remains in the Whitfield County jail following a two-day hunt that traversed the state and expanded into her last known address in Michigan. Authorities working on a tip finally found her at a home in Cartersville Tuesday evening.

Mims was scheduled for a bond hearing in Whitfield County Superior Court before Judge Jack Partain this morning, but that hearing was canceled at the request of the Public Defender’s office, which is representing her. Attorney Steve Blevins, whom officials said was to represent Mims, hasn’t returned calls seeking comment.

District Attorney Bert Poston said he couldn’t offer details on the request to postpone the bond hearing except to say the defense wanted more time to prepare. Another hearing date hadn’t been scheduled as of press time.

The funeral for Chaudhari, 37, of Dalton, are scheduled for Sunday at noon at Ponders Funeral Home. The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 11 a.m. until the funeral. Customers and co-workers who knew Chaudhari described him as a friendly man who seemed to always be smiling. He was born in Badpura, India, the son of the late Kalidas and Santokben Chaudhar, according to his obituary.

His death remains shrouded in mystery.

A high-resolution video surveillance system captured Mims inside the store Sunday night, but investigators haven’t released the full contents of the video, and they’re saying little about what it contains. Officials from the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office said she fled the store with lottery tickets and cash after killing Chaudhari. They’ve released few details about why Mims, an aspiring actor, singer and model who celebrated her 21st birthday in the Atlanta area only days before Chaudhari’s death, came to be at a gas station in Dalton about four miles from the interstate.

Poston said that while the investigation is ongoing, he isn’t “aware of any evidence or indications that there was any prior knowledge or contact or connection” between Mims and Chaudhari before Sunday.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent In-Charge Greg Ramey said an autopsy report is incomplete, and he didn’t expect to receive the full report for another month or two.

He declined to say why Mims was in Dalton. Mims herself is providing little insight into what happened that night.

“She has invoked her rights not to speak,” Ramey said.

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