It took a jury of eight women and four men less than three hours to find Willie Mims, 54, guilty of aggravated rape of an elderly Minden woman in her residence during the early morning hours of Christmas day in 2013. It was a 10-2 decision with one female juror undecided and one who voted not guilty.
The charge carries a mandatory life sentence.
Bossier/Webster District Attorney Sherb Sentell called five witnesses during the one-day trial. One was a neighbor who testified to the victim’s state of mind when she came to his residence Christmas day.
“She ran to the neighbor Christmas morning when Willie Mims finally left her house and told him what happened,” Sentell said.
The sexual assault nurse examiner was called to testify to the victim’s emotional state two days after the incident. She also collected the DNA results that would seal Mims’ fate.
“On all three collections of DNA, we had a match to Willie Mims who was already in COTUS, a national DNA database,” Sentell said. “Three months after the crime, we got the hit.”
Sentell then called Minden police investigator Capt. Dan Weaver to the stand and afterward a DNA expert from the North Louisiana Crime Lab.
Lastly, the prosecution put the victim on the stand.
“It was very, very emotional. She is a frail woman, already on disability,” Sentell said. “She is also legally blind, so she could not identify her attacker, so our match was the DNA, and if Dan Weaver had not gotten her to the doctor in 72 hours, we would never have had a case.”
Sentell said Mims told investigators he did not remember where he was Christmas Day nor the day after, which Sentell pointed out was Mims’ birthday.
“Mims admitted to Dan Weaver that he used cocaine, marijuana and alcohol, but he isn’t sure if he did that night,” Sentell said. “Then, he told Weaver in a recorded audio/video interview, it was consensual sex – that he had met this lady years ago and at one o’clock in the morning, he just happened to be walking by her house and she invited him in.”
Mims’ attorney, Mike Miller from the Public Defender’s Office, did not call any witnesses and his client did not testify.
Mims, who listed an address on Trailer Park Drive in Sibley, was arrested in March when he reported to his probation officer for a routine visit.
District Court Judge Ford Stinson will formally hand down the sentence in November.