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The former special prosecutor for the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina is behind bars this week after he was charged with attempted murder and neglect regarding violent encounters with his children, which allegedly involved choking, striking, and throwing them.
Michael “Justin” Mims was arrested on Thursday by the Hanahan Police Department, according to WBTW. The station reported that the attempted murder charge involves an allegation that Mims choked one of his four children. Mims allegedly threw the child down on the bed and held his face down.
The child was coughing and gasping for air after he was released, as was stated during a bond hearing on Thursday night, the station reported.
In another alleged incident, Mims slapped and hit a child multiple times then threw her into a chair. Mims is also accused of leaving a gun on the floor within reach of three children, the local station reported.
This all allegedly started when Mims’s estranged wife approached an attorney, Ryan Schwartz, and told him her husband of 12 years was abusing her and their children, who were all under the age of eight.
Schwartz told Oxygen.com that she was unhappy with her legal representation in their divorce proceedings and came to him for a consultation.
“I have a lot of people who come into my office and say they are being abused and the kids are being abused,” Schwartz told Oxygen.com. “You’ve got to take it with a grain of salt — and then she pulled out her iPad, or whatever, and showed me the videos. I was in crisis mode. I’ve never seen anything like this. We had to take action. I got law enforcement involved, and we went from there.
Members of the community were apparently shocked by the charges; Schwartz indicated that people are not always who they seem to be.
“I guess Ted Bundy was a nice guy, too... It's unacceptable, is what it is,” he added while speaking with WCIV. “I have never met the man. I do a lot of criminal offenses, but I never met him. But the general consensus was that he was a nice guy. A good guy to work with. Nobody suspected this from him.”
The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to WCIV that Mims was fired from his position but made no comments, as the case is still active. He was hired as a full-time special DUI prosecutor in December of 2020.
Meanwhile, the couple's divorce proceedings are ongoing. Schwartz said he is now focusing on getting his client and her children the support and help he said he believes they need.
“I think the statistics are that three women a day are killed by a spouse. This is something that needs to be brought to light and cannot be acceptable in our community,” he said. “I’m glad that my client came to me with this, and I’m glad that law enforcement took action because this was going to continue. It wasn’t going to stop.”
Mims is being held in the Berkeley County Detention Center. No bond has been set according to records.
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