A prosecutor in Berkeley county, South Carolina has been charged with attempted murder and five counts of unlawfully neglecting a child in connection with multiple instances of alleged child and spousal abuse. According to police, this behavior was documented in multiple photographs and videos taken inside the prosecutor’s home.
Michael Justin Mims, 40, of Hanahan, S.C. was arrested by officers of the Hanahan police department on Thursday afternoon on these charges. He was booked shortly thereafter at the Hill-Finklea detention center in Moncks Corner, S.C.
Given the severity of the charges filed against him – and the graphic nature of the evidence reportedly provided to police – a Berkeley county magistrate declined to set a bond for Mims at a preliminary hearing on Thursday afternoon.
Less than a year ago, Mims was hired by the Berkeley County sheriff’s office as a special driving under the influence (DUI) prosecutor. His position was funded with a grant from the S.C. Department of Public Safety (SCDPS). Prior to that, Mims served the Berkeley sheriff’s office in a part-time prosecutorial position.
Mims was fired from the sheriff’s office on Thursday afternoon following his arrest. He still operates his own law firm, although I suspect the S.C. supreme court will likely have something to say about his license to practice law in the very near future.
According to a jarring incident report filed by Hanahan police officers, Mims’ estranged wife came to the Hanahan police department on Wednesday of this week and informed officers that “her husband was abusing their children.” She brought with her a thumb drive containing images and videos of the alleged abuse.
The couple have four children together – a seven-year-old boy, a six-year-old boy, a four-year-old girl and a three-year-old girl.
This news outlet is not publishing the complete incident report we obtained because it was provided to us in a non-redacted format – one which contained the names of multiple minor children. Once this news outlet obtains a redacted report from the arresting agency, we will provide it to our readers.
The incident report described in harrowing detail the systemic abuse Mims’ young children allegedly suffered at his hands.
“In (one) video, I was able to see (one of Mims’ sons), who was three years old at the time, being thrown on a bed by his father, Justin,” a Hanahan police officer wrote in the incident report. “(The boy) had his pants down at this time and Justin puts his hands around the child’s neck, choking him and pushing his face into the bed, while stating ‘I’m going to kill you.’ He choked the child so hard that it caused the child to start coughing once Justin stopped, as if he had cut off his airway for a period of time and the child was trying to breathe.”
This incident allegedly took place in 2018. In the same video, Mims allegedly yelled at the boy – telling him “you got your ass beat, want to get it again?”
When one of the other children began crying, Mims allegedly assaulted her, too – even though she was less than two years old at the time.
“Justin then grabs her by the back of the neck and throws her onto the chair in the living room,” the officer wrote, describing the video provided by Mims’ estranged wife. “(She) continues to cry, and Justin then appears to thump her in the face and then comes back and slaps her in the face. (She) is sitting on the floor in the living room and stops crying and Justin then comes back up to her and slaps her again in the face at least two more times as he is mocking her crying. Justin then throws (her) onto the couch and within a matter of seconds, slaps her in the face again two more times.”
Photos of bruises – including facial bruises – were also provided to officers, with Mims’ estranged wife telling police one of her sons “had to miss a couple days of school due to (a) bruise on his face.”
(Click to view)
(Via: Mims Law Firm/ Facebook)
In another video, Mims (above) verbally harangues one of his sons during an incident in a bathroom, according to police.
“Go potty, go potty you little girl,” he yelled at the boy, according to officers’ description of the video. “Go potty! How’s that butt feel buddy? How’s that butt feel you little f*cking bitch? F*CK YOU!”
In the same video, Mims allegedly assaulted his then-twenty-month-old daughter – “slamming (her) into the chair by her neck” and “slapping (her) multiple times in the face,” according to officers’ descriptions.
At another point, officers described Mims as “kicking” the girl and then “a couple seconds later you can see Justin hold the right side of her face still with his left hand” as he slapped her with his right hand.
“To finish off this torture in this video, it appears that Justin is putting a coat on (her) and holds her as he slaps her repeatedly,” officers noted in their description of the video.
Again, Mims’ daughter was not even two years old at the time of this incident.
(Click to view)
(Via: Hanahan Police Department)
Every bit as disturbing? Some of the videos provided to police purportedly show Mims’ children mimicking his alleged abuse.
“These videos show systematic abuse of four young children for years,” said Ryan Schwartz, a Charleston, S.C.-based attorney who is representing Mims’ estranged wife. “I’ve seen many horrible videos in my career but these are the worst. The abuse suffered by these children is disgusting, vile, flat-out evil and frankly hard to watch”
As with anyone accused of committing any crime, Mims is considered innocent until proven guilty by our criminal justice system – or until such time as he may wish to enter some form of allocution in connection with a plea agreement with prosecutors related to any of the charges filed against him. Obviously in this case, however, the presentation of video evidence which purports to depict the crimes described in the incident report should make the establishment of guilt a fairly straightforward process.
One final note: Officers asked Mims’ estranged wife why she did not come forward and report the alleged abuse earlier. According to the incident report, she told them “she was scared that he was going to kill her, as he had threatened to do so in the past.” Indeed, one recording provided to police documented these threats – while another captured an incident of alleged abuse against Mims’ estranged wife, according to police.
The investigation into Mims is ongoing, and sources familiar with the case told this news outlet additional charges could be filed against him.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has LOTS of hats (including that University of South Carolina Gamecocks’ lid pictured above).
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