Crime Monthly




Identical twins Tasmiyah and Jasmiyah Whitehead were just 16 years old when they murdered their mother, Nikki, 34. Nikki’s boyfriend

Robert Head discovered her body in the bathroom of their home on 13 January 2010 – she had been beaten and stabbed.

The girls had been subjected to a turbulent upbringing and had been raised mainly by their greatgrand­mother, Della Frazier. Nikki herself had been born in prison and had suffered greatly at the hands of her own mother when, at 17, she found herself pregnant with twins. However, despite being a sporadic presence in their lives, when they turned 13, Nikki requested full custody of her daughters, which she was granted. She was determined to make up for lost time and give her daughters everything. But the reunion was fraught with verbal assaults and violent physical conflicts. Friends of the family said that despite the twins being straight-a students, they resented their mother and any attempts at discipline ended in volatile eruptions. Numerous attempts at family counsellin­g and juvenile court appearance­s followed, before the girls went once again to live with their grandmothe­r. But the stay was to be brief and, despite intense protestati­ons, the girls were ordered to take part in a two-week trial period, living with their mother once again. That period began on the 5 January 2010, and

Nikki was dead three days later.

That day, the sisters went to school and later, after flagging down a police car, the twins told authoritie­s they had discovered their mother dead in their home. Due to the nature of the attack, police believed they were dealing with a crime of passion and investigat­ors initially suspected Nikki’s boyfriend as the killer.

But DNA ruled him out, while implicatin­g Jasmiyah and Tasmiyah as the killers. Bite marks found on Nikki’s body were also attributed to the girls. Four months after the murder, the twins were arrested and charged. A jury found them both guilty, sentencing them to 30 years behind bars, time they are serving in separate prisons.

It wasn’t until four years after the killing that Tasmiyah told police what had occurred on the morning of her mother’s death. Rockdale District Attorney Richard R. Read said, “Nikki hit Jas with a pot. Tas took the pot from their mother and Nikki grabbed a steak knife. There was name-calling, cursing, gouging and scratching – everybody was mad. During the fight, Nikki was cut and stabbed.” At some point, Nikki left the house seeking help from a neighbour. When no one answered, she returned home.

Read said, “Tas said Nikki came… and lunged at the knife. Eventually the blows necessary to bring about the death of Nikki Whitehead were given.” The twins will be eligible for parole in 2040.

 ?? ?? Nikki with the twins
Nikki with the twins
 ?? ?? The bloody crime scene
The bloody crime scene
 ?? ?? Tasmiyah Whitehead
Tasmiyah Whitehead
 ?? ?? Jasmiyah Whitehead
Jasmiyah Whitehead

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