January 14, 2010 was a horrifying day that rocked a small town in Georgia. For the first time in four years, there was a murder in Conyers. A woman was found by her twin daughters in a pool of blood. She had been beaten and stabbed to death.
Chief Gene Wilson says a Rockland County deputy was serving papers in the neighborhood when the twins, Tasmiyah “Tas” and Jasmiya “Jas” Whitehead, ran into the street screaming at the top of their lungs. The deputy responded to the house and that’s where he found Jarmecca “Nikki” Whitehead dead.
As the weeks went on, investigators followed up with leads, and put a look out for a red Dodge Avenger. There were no signs of forced entry into the home, and it was difficult to figure out who would want to harm the hard working mom.
Authorities learned that the twins had recently moved back in with their mother. They were staying with their great-grandmother the year prior because of difficulties at home when the twins allegedly physically assaulted their mom. Police cannot talk about the assault or the arrest because they were underage at the time, but I spoke with Petrina Sims, Nikki’s boss and close friend, and she says the girls jumped on their mother to harm her and she called police. Sims says, “Their great-grandmom intervened after the first court case,” and took the girls into her home. Sims says the case went from being a case of unruly kids being an unfit parent case, and basically the kids didn’t want to go back. Lynda Whitehead, Nikki’s mom, confirms this information as well. The great-grandmother and the children conspired to go against Nikki in the courtroom to make it seem like she was not fit to take care of them. Sims states, “They had full range of freedom staying with grandmom,” so she understands why they would want to do this.
According to Sims, Jarmecca didn’t want to give up and wanted a second chance to raise her girls. Nikki went to court, but unfortunately tested positive for drugs. Sims claims that although her friend smoked marijuana, she was still extremely kind and responsible. Sims says Nikki was in school for fashion design and that she was creative, loving, kind, fair, non-confrontational, and in all heated situations she tried to bring peace. Sims says the judge awarded the great-grandmother custody, and Nikki had no visits or anything at first. Nikki requested to have counseling through the court with her children, and that request was granted, but Sims says the great-grandmother made it very difficult. She would often bring the girls to the appointments late, or would leave one at home so the visits could be canceled.
Over time, Sims says “Tas” started coming around and talking to her mother. Nikki even threw the girls a Sweet 16 birthday party. “Tas” came, but “Jas” was nowhere to be found. She had a very bad attitude towards her mother.
Over time, Sims claims the girls weren’t attending school, were getting bad grades and wouldn’t come home to stay with their great-grandmother. Sims also says the great-grandmother tried getting money for keeping the girls, but the request was denied through the court. The Department of Social Services stepped back in, and another court date was set. That court date was eight days before Nikki was murdered. Sims says the judge that day awarded Nikki custody, and told both of the girls they had to go and live with their mother permanently. Nikki told Sims in the courtroom that day that one of the girls had said she would kill her, and they were very outspoken about the move not being permanent. Sims claims there were a lot of red flags. Three days prior to Nikki’s death, the police chief told me Nikki called 9-1-1 two times; once for a disorderly teen, and again for a disturbance. No one was arrested in either call.
Over the last few months, investigators have worked day and night to solve this murder. Evidence from the crime scene was sent off to the Georgia Crime lab, and over time the pieces were put together. The Chief told me that all signs pointed to the twins, and they were arrested for the murder of their mother a few days ago.
One teen was arrested at Tucker High School, and the other was arrested at the home where she was staying. The Chief says the Department of Child Protective Services placed them in a home after their mother’s murder.
The arrest doesn’t surprise many who knew the girls. Friends have come out and said how unruly the girls were, how disrespectful they were to their mother, and the chief told me, “It appears they had their own agenda that day, and no one was going to stand in their way.” Sims says Nikki “was a stranger to no one, she greeted everyone, and was very sweet.” Nikki had joined a new church not long before her death and, “In spite of all of that she was still looking for a resolution for her and the kids.”
The elements of the case are being compiled and will be presented to the Grand Jury on June 7, 2010. Right now the chief says the twins are being held at separate facilities, and one of them was extremely angry when she was arrested. Nikki’s mom Lynda told me earlier today, “I believe if they would not have sent them back over there the way they did my daughter would be alive.”
There is help for parents out there with children who are out of control. There are red flags, just like the many that appear in this case. Mark Hutton is the creator of the Parent-Support Group, an organization for parents with out of control children, and he is the author of My Out Of Control Teen and My Out of Control Child. You can check out his resources and group information for guidance and help with your own personal situations. You can e-mail Mark your questions: firstname.lastname@example.org or give him a call: (856) 457-4883