Twin, 20, Accepts 30-Yr Plea Deal For Killing Her Mother; Identical Sister Will Go To Trial & Faces Life
Nearly four years after Jarmecca “Nikki” Whitehead’s spinal cord was fatally severed at the climax of the fight, one of her twins has admitted her part in the killing. Tasmiyah Whitehead, 20, pleaded guilty Thursday to voluntary manslaughter, falsification in government matters and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime in the death of her mother. She was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Her identical twin sister, Jasmiyah Whitehead, goes to trial in March in connection with the killing and could face life in prison.
“I have read about … tragedies of epic proportion,” Rockdale County Superior Court Judge David Irwin said Thursday at Tasmiyah Whitehead’s plea hearing. “I had no idea what that was until today.”
Tasmiyah Whitehead and Jasmiyah Whitehead were 16 when they were arrested and charged with malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault in connection with their mother’s death.
An apparent history of violent family turmoil had been brewing over some years and exploded on the morning of Jan. 13, 2010, prosecutors said. “(Nikki) hit Jas with a pot,” Read said. “Tas took the pot from their mother and Nikki grabbed a steak knife.”
The fight began.
“There was name-calling and cursing and gouging and scratching and everybody was mad,” Read said. “During the fight, her mom was cut and stabbed.”
Tasmiyah Whitehead looked on stoically in handcuffs, leg irons and an orange Rockdale County Jail jumpsuit as Read described her accounts of the fight that led to her mother’s death. At some point that January morning, the melee halted, and Jarmecca Whitehead left the house seeking help from a next-door neighbor, according to prosecutors. When no one immediately answered the door, she returned home, Read said.
“Tas said Nikki came and sat down in the kitchen … she was tired,” Read said. “Tas said Nikki lunged at the knife. Eventually the blows necessary to bring about the death of Nikki Whitehead were given.”
Among her injuries, Jarmecca Whitehead suffered significant stab wounds to her lungs, jugular and the back of her neck, where her spinal cord was severed, prosecutors said.
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