The quiet Atlanta suburb of Conyers was shaken by the gruesome murder of Nikki Whitehead in January 2010, who met her brutal end at the hands of very unexpected people- her young daughters. NBC’s ‘Dateline: Bad Blood’ chronicles the horrid details of her death as well as how the police were able to trace the killers after a twisted, long investigation. Let’s find out more about this shocking case now, shall we?
Who Are Jasmiyah and Tasmiyah Whitehead?
Born on November 27, 1993, twins Jasmiyah Kaneesha Whitehead and Tasmiyah Janeesha Whitehead lived with their mother, Jarmecca Yvonne “Nikki” Whitehead, in her Conyers home. The 16-year-old sisters had a highly turbulent relationship with Nikki, who had a relatively on-and-off presence in their lives since they were young. The girls were raised mainly by their great-grandmother, Della Frazier, and went to live with their mother at age 13 after she gained their custody.
However, things turned rocky as Nikki and the twins were constantly in conflict, often engaging in verbal and physical assault. Matters became so worse that the police and juvenile court intervened, and the girls were temporarily sent to live with Della. Despite Jasmiyah and Tasmiyah’s numerous protests, their mother soon regained their custody, and the court ordered them to live with her, beginning January 5, 2010.
Jasmiyah then allegedly retaliated by threatening to kill Nikki, and a few days later, on January 8, 2010, the 34-year-old was found dead in her bathtub, to everyone’s horror. The twins had reportedly returned from school to find their mother’s dead body and had run out and alerted a nearby police officer. Formal examination revealed that Nikki had been badly beaten and stabbed multiple times, including her lungs, the jugular vein, and the spinal cord. Furthermore, there were no signs of forced entry, and the autopsy ruled out sexual assault.
Given the violent nature of the attack, investigators initially suspected that one of her boyfriends might have been involved in the murder, but later investigation cleared all of them of suspicion. Although, the police soon began suspecting Tasmiyah and Jasmiyah’s hand in their mother’s death for multiple reasons. Firstly, the twins had numerous cuts and bite marks on their forearms, yet Tasmiyah claimed that hers were self-inflicted; later, the bite marks on her arms were assumed to be Nikki’s.
Moreover, there were several discrepancies in the accounts the sisters had given the police, and surveillance footage revealed that they were not in school at the time they had stated. In fact, the sisters were seen getting into an unknown person’s car when they were supposed to be in school. Lastly, blood on a broken vase and shoes at the crime scene was revealed to be the twins’. Based on all the incriminating evidence, the girls were charged with their mother’s murder in May 2010.
Where Are Jasmiyah and Tasmiyah Whitehead Today?
Initially, the Whitehead twins maintained their innocence but then confessed to the crime in custody in 2014, detailing everything that happened on the day of the murder. Jasmiyah alleged that Nikki had started an argument with them with a pot in her hand; things got so heated that the three got into a physical scuffle, and eventually, they bludgeoned their mother with a vase. Tasmiyah then fatally stabbed Nikki with a steak knife, resulting in the latter’s death.
As part of a plea deal, Jasmiyah Whitehead pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter in January 2014, and Tasmiyah pleaded guilty a month later to the same charge. Both sisters were sentenced to thirty years behind bars; currently, Jasmiyah is incarcerated at the Pulaski State Prison in Hawkinsville, and Tasmiyah is serving her sentence at the Arrendale Transitional Center in Habersham County, Georgia.
As of 2016, the girls got their GEDs and were pursuing medical and computer tech courses, respectively. They became eligible for parole in 2017, and their projected release date is May 19, 2040.