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Case Update: Whitehead, Villa-Gomez
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(September 9, 2011) Teen twin sisters charged with murdering their mothering last January have pled not guilty as part of a new case filed recently in Rockdale Superior Court.

Defense attorneys for Jasmiyah and Tasmiyah Whitehead, both 17, waived formal arraignment on Sept. 8. A motions hearing is set for Oct. 6 at 2 p.m. in Judge Sidney L. Nation’s courtroom.

The twins were arrested May 2010 and accused of beating and stabbing to death Jarmecca “Nikki” Whitehead, 34, at their Conyers home in Bridle Ridge Walk. The girls contend they discovered their mother’s bloody body that January afternoon when they returned home from school. They flagged down a deputy who was in the neighborhood on another matter for help.

The girls were reindicted by a grand jury in early August to start things over so that the case can go to trial more quickly. They are facing aggravated assault, malice murder and felony murder charges, which are the same felony charges they were indicted under originally in mid July 2010.

Currently the twins are being held separately in Rockdale andNewtoncounty jails. They will have a jury trial together.


Burned body case update

One of the defendants in the murder case of an Auburn, Ga. man whose body was found burned in Rockdale last year was recently indicted by a grand jury in DeKalb County Superior Court.

Tora Reed, 34, of Lithonia, was indicted on Aug. 29 with three counts of murder, one count of aggravated assault felony, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

The other three defendants - Kelton Perez Franklin, 36, of Snellville, Deodrick Ricardo Rivers, 31, of Ellenwood, Antonio Lindsey, 39, of Lithonia - had a preliminary hearing on Aug. 29 and their involvement in the case was reportedly still under investigation, according to a DeKalb County District Attorney spokesperson.

Franklin, Rivers, and Lindsey were released on a $100,000 bond after a hearing in DeKalb County Superior Court on June 29.

The body of electrician Martin-Villa Gomez, who was reportedly shot with a gun, was found burned in the back of a truck Rockdale in February 2010.

The case was moved from Rockdale County to DeKalb County after investigators reportedly learned the location of the alleged murder was in DeKalb County.


Rockdale is still prosecuting charges of arson against the defendants.