Jarmecca “Nikki” Whitehead had lived a rough childhood. Her own mama, Lynda, had been in prison for robbery and drug offenses, so Nikki had been raised by her grandmother, Della Frazier. In 1993 the 17 year old found herself pregnant with twin daughters who she would name Jasmiyah and Tasmiyah- Jas and Tas for short; the girls biological father was never in the picture.
Being such a young mother Nikki allowed her girls to grow up in the custody of her grandmother, just as she had. While little the girls had been involved in scouts, and attended dance lessons; both were musically inclined, could sing very well and play instruments. Jas and Tas were absolutely beautiful and so full of life, just as their mother had been; what’s more, they were both gifted straight A students.
While her children were very little, Nikki had been busy sowing her own wild oats; she eventually got her stuff together, and went to school to become a hair stylist. When the twins were about 13 years of age Nikki noticed an abrupt change: Jas and Tas were staying out all night, hanging out with much older boys, skipping school, and their grades had plummeted. Now the young mother was more than a little concerned that her children would go down the same road she’d been down, and Nikki wanted better for her babies.
Nikki settled down with an older gentleman, and together the pair were able to move into an affluent gated community. Nikki believed that if she could get Jas and Tas away from the environment they’d been in, that she could get them on track; in 2007 Nikki regained sole custody of her children.
The young mother gave Jas and Tas a curfew, and insisted they inform her of their whereabouts and who they were with at all times. It had been normal rules which most other teenaged girls were usually expected to comply with, but Jas and Tas were more than a little unhappy with the sudden parental supervision in their lives. These girls rebelled hard.
This is when the physical violence began; more than once the girls attacked their mother, it had been two against one. Nikki could not physically take both of her daughters on at once and win. At one point Jas and Tas had trapped their mother in her bedroom, and they’d beaten her good; Nikki had managed to break free, and the cops were summoned. Though the girls swore that they’d only been defending themselves, neither had any marks on them; the same could not be said for Nikki. Jas and Tas were arrested.
At court the teens told the judge that they had been abused by their drug addled mother; while it doesn’t appear that the judge believed Nikki had been abusive, it was still deemed best for all involved that Jas and Tas move back in with their elderly great grandmother while they all attended family counseling sessions.
In the elderly womans custody, Jas and Tas finally had the life they had been pining for. They could run wild, sneak out, chill with all the boys, and who was going to stop them? Certainly not Grandma Della, she just wasn’t physically capable. The teens lived with their great grandmother for 1 and ½ years; Nikki could’ve left it alone, but she’d been more determined than ever to bring her girls home.
In December of 2009 this family went before a judge again; Grandma admitted that she just wasn’t capable of caring for the girls, and that she had been afraid to stand up to them. Nikki was given a drug test, which she passed on the spot, and on January 5th Jas and Tas were sent back home to live with their mother on a two week trial basis. The very night that Jas and Tas were sent home, the police were called for domestic disturbance; Nikki had just 8 days left to live.
On January 13th of 2010, the girls called police after school. Jas and Tas had claimed they’d come home that afternoon to find a blood bath, they’d discovered their 34 year old mother floating face up in the bathtub. It had been a case of overkill; Nikki had been beaten with a vase and stabbed more than 50 times, so much damage had been done that her spinal cord was nearly severed. The girls told police that their mother had been fighting with her boyfriend the night before, and they believed that he had murdered her. At the police station the teens held each other tight and sobbed, but officers noticed there were no tears in their eyes.
Jas and Tas were sent to live with their grandmother once again, just as they’d wanted. They attended their mother’s funeral, and then their prom; for the 4 months in which the sisters were free, they must’ve believed that they’d gotten away with murder. And maybe they would have, had Nikki not fought so desperately for her life.
DNA evidence cleared Nikki’s boyfriend of the murder charges, and the girls became the prime suspects. Bite marks found on Tas’s arm matched a mold taken of Nikki’s teeth, both sisters had cuts on them, and hair discovered between the young mother’s teeth was found to belong to one of her daughters. On top of all this, investigators traced the teens movements on the morning of the murders; they had lied about their whereabouts, the girls had been very late to school that day.
On the last day of the school year, Jas and Tas were arrested. Eventually the pair admitted to what they had done; they said a fight had broke out after they’d woke up too late to catch the bus that morning. This time was different from the others, Jas and Tas decided to put an end to their mother. They beat, choked, and stabbed Nikki repeatedly, then dragged her to the bath tub while she had still been alive. Nikki had been talking to them as the tub filled with water, then she went under; that’s how this beautiful young mother lost her life.
Jas and Tas both plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter and were sentenced to 30 years incarceration; they’ve been separated at last. They’re said to be doing rather well behind bars; both have obtained their GED, and are furthering their educations. Tas is concentrating on computer tech, and Jas is learning to work in the medical field.
The girls great grandmother has come forward; though she grieves for Nikki, Della believes that the girls still have much to offer this world; she hopes that they don’t have to serve the full 30 year sentence. Della says: “My heart bleeds for their mom and for them. I can’t bring Nikki back, but I can hope and pray that God will help them be productive.”.
A child murdering their parent isn’t unheard of, but most of the time that child has been terribly abused for years. This just wasn’t the case here; Nikki had not been a perfect mother, but it’s there such a thing? Nikki had just wanted better for her children better than what she’d had, if you are a parent surely you can understand her plight. And it’s all so senseless. Jas and Tas had been 16 when they ended their mother’s life, had they only waited 2 more years they would’ve been adults and no one could’ve stopped them. Now there’s no telling when or if they’ll ever know true freedom. Either way they have to live with what they’ve done, and if the girls have any sort of conscience at all, that in itself is a life sentence.
*Hoping y’all are well today! Hang in there!