(November 7, 2013) The state prosecution has recently asked for separate trials for the twin teens accused of stabbing their mother to death in 2010 at their Conyers home.
Jasmiyah and Tasmiyah Whitehead face charges of malice murder, felony murder, and aggravated assault for the Jan. 2010 slaying of 34-year-old Jarmecca “Nikki” Whitehead. The twins were 16 years old when Conyers Police arrested them for the murder.
The Whitehead twins had been indicted as co-defendants in the case and were expected to be tried together.
However, Rockdale County District Attorney Richard Read filed a motion to sever in October, according to public court records.
Essentially, the motion is a request to have the Whitehead twins tried separately.
Last month’s motion said, “the state anticipates that there may be significant confusion on behalf of the jury in separating evidence admissible against one defendant and not admissible as against the other defendant.”
“The severance of the defendants under the circumstances of this case is necessary to achieve a fair determination of the case,” Read wrote in the motion.
According to the motion, first up for trial would be Tasmiyah, the twin currently held in Rockdale Jail. Jasmiyah’s trial would start after her sister’s, if the motion to sever is approved.
Court records show the trial slated for 9 a.m. Jan. 8, 2014 and Rockdale County Chief Superior Court Judge David Irwin will hear the case.
Atlanta-based attorney Dwight Thomas is representing Jasmiyah. Tasmiyah’s attorney is David LaMalva of Conyers.
The twins have been held in custody since their May 2010 arrest. Because of their age, they were first held in separate youth detention centers. On their 17th birthday, they were transported to separate county jail facilities, where they currently remain.
The twins are now almost 20 years old.