December 3, 1996 in Nation/World

Couple Sentenced For Beating, Firing Shotgun

Compiled From Wire Services

A white couple who tied a 9-year-old black boy to a tree and fired a shotgun past his face received a two-year prison sentence Monday.

The boy and his parents said they thought the sentence handed to Benjamin and Betty Mims was too lenient.

“I think they should have had more, five to 10 years,” said Dwight Miller, who now is 10. “What they did to me was wrong.”

The couple could be eligible for parole in six to eight months, prosecutors estimated.

Dwight said the Mimses tied him to a tree, beat him and fired a shotgun at him Jan. 5 after accusing him of stealing from a truck.

The boy, who lives across the road in the rural New Zion community, said he had come over to play with the couple’s 9-year-old son and 13-year-old niece, but that the children also turned on him.

The boy said that Mims and his son Benji both fired the shotgun past his face.

The Mimses continued to maintain their innocence. “I have never hurt nobody and I never had it in my heart to hurt nobody,” Mims said.

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