CONYERS, Ga. -- The crime was unfathomable and the trail of lies that came after was almost as shocking.
In the first part of a four-part series, 11Alive's Catie Beck showed never before seen evidence in the case of Tasmiyah and Jasmiyah Whitehead, 16-year-old twin sisters who are now convicted of brutally killing their own mother.
The twins are each serving 30 years for the crime. At first, the girls claimed innocence, but as interrogation tapes show, their story slowly changed over time.
'It started to become clear that at the very least they were being deceptive'
Jarmecca Whitehead was brutally murdered on Jan. 13, 2010. Conyers police found her submerged in a bathtub in her home on Appaloosa Way. The twins originally told police they came home from school and found their home covered in blood.
"I heard Jas scream and then I saw blood all over the floor," Tasmiyah Whitehead said.
Investigators said there was evidence that the girls had tried to clean up the mess before realizing it was too much. Detectives smelled bleach in the carpet, saw bloody clothes in the wash, and found clothes the twins had thrown away.
After much questioning, the twins began to show their nerves – perhaps their guilty. Especially Jasmiyah, who is seen in the tapes rocking back and forth.
Jasmiyah: Do you think we did it?
Detective: No I don't think y'all did anything.
Jasmiyah: It just seems like the way you questioning us that y'all think we did it.
DENIAL AFTER DENIAL
After being separated, the twins tried to stick to their story, but being apart seemed to wear them down.
The firmer police got, the more lies the girls told. With fresh cuts and bites on both their hands and arms, they first told police they got in a fight with each other. Then they exchanged that lie for another.
"The twins were claiming the bite marks they had were self-inflicted -- that it's a nervous reaction they would have," said Lt. Chris Moon of the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office.
Jas tried to act out that lie for the cameras as she bit her own hands. Meanwhile, her sister Tas, also aware of the camera, performed another act.
"I can't eat, mom is dead. Stupid scratch, they are going to blame this whole thing on me because of a stupid scratch," Tas said.
She prayed aloud, hoping to catch her mother's killer.
"Please God -- I really want them to catch this person," Tasiyah said.
The girls went home with their great grandmother that night. They went to school, had a social life and perhaps started to believe they had gotten away with it. But police were watching them all the while and building a case.
Nearly four months later, their time was up.
"Once we got them both arrested, we got the car mic'ed up to listen to them in case they said something incremenating," said Lt. Moon.
An audio recording of the girls on the day of their arrest captured their conversation:
Jas: They're talking about the damn bite marks.
Tas: Yeah, they're saying that I have momma's teeth on my arm.
The twins tone had changed.
Tas: I'm not going down for something I did not do.
Jas: Me either.
Tas: The day that you find a murder with my fingerprints on it or something -- please do that. Please find a murder weapon and then it will be different. For real.
The two sweet victimized twins were long gone.
"Just the anger coming out in the voice again, talking about how terrible our evidence was and how if you want to charge me find a murder weapon," Lt. Moon said.
Jas: What the [expletive] are we waiting for?
Tas: They having [expletive] coffee and donuts and having a jolly old time. They don't care.
Once in custody and jumpsuits -- faced with a murder trial, that tone would change again when the girls finally break down and give their taped confession.