Twins charged in mom's killing

Jasmiyah Whitehead

Jasmiyah Whitehead

CONYERS -- The twin teenage daughters of a woman found stabbed to death in her home earlier this year have been charged with the murder of their mother and will be tried as adults.

Tasmiyah and Jasmiyah Whitehead, both 16, were arrested Friday morning by the Conyers Police Department and charged with the murder of Jarmeca Whitehead.

According to previous reports, the teenage girls told police they found their 34-year-old mother on Jan. 13 with several stab wounds in the bathroom of their Conyers home at 2020 Appaloosa Way.

The slaying occurred in the Bridle Ridge Walk subdivision, a gated community off Dogwood Drive. The girls flagged down a Rockdale County Sheriff's Office deputy after returning home from school the day of the murder and reported they had found their mother's body.

Acting Police Chief and Conyers Public Safety Director Gene Wilson said in a press conference Friday afternoon that evidence during the four-month investigation clearly pointed to the girls as directly involved in what Wilson called a "vicious" crime.

One of the girls was arrested at Tucker High School and the other sister was arrested at the Clarkston address of a family member who had custody of the juveniles after the murder.

The Rockdale County Sheriff's Office and the DeKalb County Fugitive Squad assisted in the arrests of the teens.

According to Wilson, one of the girls was hostile during her arrest and the other was "almost passive, almost disinterested."

"They did not appear to be surprised and they did not offer any apology," Wilson said.

The girls had their first appearance in court and were charged with murder and aggravated assault. The Rockdale County District Attorney's Office will prosecute them as adults, according to Wilson.

"I think that speaks of how violent this act was, how vicious the overall attack was," Wilson said.

Wilson said he was unsure of the daughters' motive and added he was not aware of any previous contact the family had with law enforcement.

"It was a brutal murder. She was stabbed and beaten to death and as far as the motive, I just don't know," Wilson said.

"Any murder is a terrible crime," Wilson added. "But when you have family on family, I think that makes it worse, and especially when it's children and parents."

Rumors started circulating not long after the murder that the girls were missing or arrested. Former Police Chief David Cathcart rebutted those rumors in January.

The girls attended Rockdale County High School before the incident.