Prosecutors: Willie Mims used stolen van in Englewood drive-by that killed Dearies Arnold

Willie Mims / Photo from Cook County Sheriff's office
Willie Mims / Photo from Cook County Sheriff’s office

Homicide Watch Chicago Editor

A man already in jail awaiting trial for possession of a stolen vehicle has now been charged with murder after prosecutors claim he used the vehicle in an August 2014 Englewood drive-by shooting that killed Dearies Arnold.

Arnold, 26, was standing in the 7100 block of South Green Street on Aug. 11, 2014, when a dark minivan approached and Willie Mims fired ten to 20 shots through the open driver’s side window, said Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Cooper.

Arnold, of the 7100 block of South Champlain Avenue, was shot multiple times and died less than an hour later at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

“He was a nice dude,” said area resident Bud. “He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Friends said Arnold had attended Robeson High School and was focused on taking care of his children. They described him as a well-dressed man who helped others.

Police said Arnold was a documented gang member, but friends denied that claim and called him a “good kid.”

Dearies Arnold / Submitted photo

Dearies Arnold / Submitted photo

On Aug. 13, 2014, Mims was arrested and charged for being in possession of a stolen minivan, Cooper said. He is currently being held in Cook County Jail on $75,000 bond on that case, according to court records.

Inside the minivan, investigators found a 9 mm shell casing that matched a shell casing found at the shooting that killed Arnold, Cooper said.

Two witnesses identified Mims as the person driving the minivan who shot Arnold, Cooper said.

Mims, 22, was charged with first-degree murder and Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. denied bail during a Friday bond hearing. Mims will be back in court to face the murder charges Feb. 19.

— Contributing: Rummana Hussain

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