Jasmiyah and 16-year-old twin sister Tasmiyah were arrested May 21 and charged with killing their mother, Jarmecca “Nikki” Whitehead, at her Rockdale home. The girls, who will be tried together but have separate legal representation, deny any involvement in their mother’s death.
Jasmiyah Whitehead appeared before a judge Monday morning with her attorney, Dwight Thomas by her side and was denied bond in the case.
You may recognize Thomas’ name from another high-profile case. He was rapper T.I.’s right had man during his federal trial for weapons charges and got Tip released on a $3.3 million dollar bond.
Thomas’ legal strategy in the twins’ case consists of proving that the murdered mother was unfit and on drugs:
“This was a home where alcohol and narcotics were alleged to be abused,” Thomas said. “And [Nikki Whitehead] lived with a man who was not their biological father.”
Whitehead’s boyfriend, Robert Head, told the AJC last week that his late ex-girlfriend had once struggled with drugs.
Several of Whitehead’s friends said she was a devoted mother determined to repair the rift with her daughters.
Thomas alleges that someone else came to Whitehead’s home and killed her.
“We’re going to challenge every aspect of the state’s case,” said Thomas, whose high-profile client roster includes rapper and actor Clifford “T.I.” Harris.
Thomas noted there was a sexual assault at the same residence two years earlier. The perpetrator was never captured, he said. (Source)
During the bond hearing, Rockdale County prosecutors said that Nikki Whitehead was found in the bathtub of her home. Prosecutors say she’d been stabbed multiple times.
Prosecutors also told Superior Court Judge David Irwin that they had a witness ready to testify that after a juvenile court hearing 9 days before the murder, Jasmiyah was overheard saying that if she had to return home with her mother, she would kill her.
Before she died, Jarmecca, who was known as Nikki, also confided in a neighbor.
“The mother was kind of afraid that something like that might happen,” said neighbor Angela Avery. “I can’t explain why because the mother didn’t do a lot of talking, but she did have that particular fear. Yes, she did.
Several relatives of the twins claim that these statements are false and that the girls couldn’t have committed this horrible crime. Barbara Whitehead, the twin’s great aunt and sister of Nikki’s mother, stated it was a set up:
The truth is, the twins have been set up to appear as the murderers. I don’t know who’s trying to set them up, but I don’t believe they’re guilty.”
Jasmiyah was returned to the Gwinnett Youth Detention Center following her hearing. Tasmiyah’s bond hearing is tentatively scheduled for next week. She remains at the Rockdale facility. The twins haven’t seen or spoken to each other since their arrests. Neither girl has been indicted by the Rockdale County District Attorney’s Office.