When a police car happened to drive by Jasmiyah Whitehead’s Conyers, Georgia, home, she screamed and ran towards the road. When she and her identical twin sister Tasmiyah returned home from school, they discovered their mother de*ad and submerged in their bathtub, she informed the deputy.
34-year-old Jarmecca “Nikki” Whitehead had suffered 80 stab wounds and beatings with a kitchen knife. Her violent demise was revealed by the house she shared with her boyfriend and two 16-year-old daughters. The walls, the carpet and the drag marks separating the living room and bathroom were all covered in bloodstains.
According to Lt. Chris Moon of the Conyers Police Department, “It was the bloodiest scene I think I’ve ever been to,” Moon subsequently told NBC.
That afternoon, January 13, 2010, as investigators descended upon the crime scene, the girls were removed from the horror and taken to the local police station. Tasmiyah started biting her arm en route. She explained to questioning officers that it was just a nervous habit she would do when she was upset.
Detectives comforted them a short while later while they were secure in an interrogation room.
“I asked, ‘What can I do to make this easier for you?’ as these two girls were embracing each other in their arms.” Detective Ken Swift stated to True Crime Daily. “Can we watch CSI?” they asked as they turned to face me.
“Immediately the hairs on the back of my neck stood straight up. Essentially it was right then that it was like, OK, this is— something was very, very off.”
They seemed very innocent and sweet
When Jasmiyah and Tasmiyah, also known as Jas and Tas, were born, Nikki was seventeen years old. Before Nikki took custody of the girls at the age of 13 and relocated them to Conyers, the girls were raised by their great-grandmother, Della Frazier.
Although they were honour roll students and Girl Scouts, they disobeyed their mother’s rules when they got to high school. Later, a court was informed, according to Rockdale News, that Nikki thought the girls were using marijuana, engaging in sexual activity, and skipping school: Afterwards, County District Attorney Richard Read testified in court that the girls harboured resentment towards their mother due to her treatment of them. “They thought she was a hypocrite because she used marijuana and was promiscuous.”
Their tense relationship resulted in several fights and numerous 911 calls. On June 28, 2008, an incident led Conyers Police officer Myra Scruggs to visit their home.
“Despite the girls’ apparent innocence and sweetness, Nikki was afraid of those kids based on the expression on her face. True Crime Daily was informed by Officer Scruggs that “she knew that they worked together.”
Scruggs, unsatisfied, abandoned the house but stayed nearby. Nikki called 911 again shortly after, this time reporting that she had been attacked. The girls said they were protecting themselves from their mother’s attack.
Officer Scruggs stated, “[Nikki] was hysterical and had scratches on her neck and chest.” Conversely, the girls showed no signs of injuries or signs that they had actually engaged in a physical altercation. I didn’t think any of the things the girls had said when we were speaking. There might have been more emotion displayed if you two had been strangers.”
According to Rockdale News, the twins were ordered to undergo counselling with their mother after a juvenile court deemed them “ungovernable” and gave them back to their great-grandmother. They stayed under Della’s supervision until they found themselves back in court due to truancy and running away from home, at which point a judge placed them under Nikki’s supervision once more.
After the ruling on January 5, 2010, D.A. Read told a court that it “caused chaos in the hallway of juvenile court,” according to Rockdale News. In front of Nikki, Jasmiyah expressed her extreme distress by saying, “If I have to go live with you again, I’m going to kill you.”
After a week, Nikki had passed away.
The truth emerges.
After Nikki Whitehead was killed, police focused on Jas and Tas in the following hours. Upon arriving at the station, neither of them took off their gloves. Both of them had bite marks and scratches when the police asked to see their hands and arms. The twins wrote off the injuries as the consequence of a fight they’d had earlier.
After they were apart, their story of what had happened that day started to fall apart. Despite their claims that they had walked to school the morning of the murd*er and had only been delayed by ten minutes, surveillance footage revealed them taking a ride from an unknown person several hours later.
When the investigators returned to the crime scene, they discovered their bloodied clothes in the washing machine, traces of bleach on the carpet, suggesting that someone had tried to clean up the blood, and later, Nikki’s teeth contained one of the girls’ hair. According to Rockdale News, Tasmiyah attempted to conceal bite marks on her left arm while travelling to the station, but they coincided with Nikki’s dental records.
However, it took the police four months to compile all of the information. The twins lived apart for four months while they were under the supervision of the Division of Family and Children Services. They kept going to the same school, went to their school formal, and just generally hung out with their friends.
On May 21, 2010, they were ultimately taken into custody and accused of felony mur*der and aggravated assault. Entering a not guilty plea.
However, after nearly four years had passed without a trial and in the face of a plea bargain, they finally admitted to voluntary m*anslaughter.
Jasmiyah is heard on police recordings saying that they had a fight with their mother the morning they k*illed her because they were late for school. They said that after she threatened them with a pot from the kitchen, they got into a full-blown fight.
“She just started waving the pot around, things like that, whatever, so I guess she was trying to hit us with the pot,” Jasmiyah told the police.
Nikki tried to take the pot from her, but she grabbed a steak knife instead. She did not use it. Jasmiyah hit her first with the pot. Then they used a ribbon to choke her. Nikki bit, punched, and scratched the girls while they cried out and struggled, until Tasmiyah launched a knife attack.
“I think I picked up a knife and I stabbed her,” she stated. “I believe I stabbed her in the abdomen. It happened more than once.”
Nikki said her last words as they pulled her into the bathtub together: “[She said] She hate us, she hate us… “We’re heading to jail,” Jasmiyah uttered. “I told her I was sorry.”
Astonished by their actions, the two “cried for a long time”. After making an effort to tidy up, they got dressed and left for school.
Jasmiyah admitted to police, “It was more of a fight until somebody die; it wasn’t a fight like on the street.” “Neither Tas nor I harboured animosity towards her. The intensity of the situation and the simmering resentment among the three of us, I suppose.”
In 2014, the twins received 30-year prison terms apiece.