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Lexington mother who fatally stabbed her two children pleads guilty to manslaughter

In World
June 10, 2024

A Lexington mother entered a plea deal Monday morning on amended charges for fatally stabbing her two children in May 2022.

Nikki James, 45, was charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of her children, who were 5 and 13 years old, Lexington police said previously.

The children were stabbed to death at their Rogers Road apartment, according to court testimony in the case.

On Monday, she accepted a plea deal on two counts of second-degree manslaughter, according to James’ attorney, Bonnie Potter.

James faces 20 years in prison — 10 years for each charge.

“She is heartbroken over the loss of her children but glad that the criminal charges have been resolved,” Potter told the Herald-Leader.

She originally faced life in prison for the murder charges.

James was arrested in May 2022 after police responded to her apartment building to find her covered in blood, according to previous court testimony. Her children, Skyler and Deon, were inside the apartment suffering from multiple stab wounds. They were pronounced dead by the Fayette County Coroner’s Office after being transported to a hospital, police and the coroner said.

Joshua Crowe, a detective with the Lexington Police Department, testified previously that James’ neighbors called the police after hearing her say “kill yourself and kill the kids,” and seeing her covered in blood banging on their doors.

Nikki James, 43, sits alongside her public defender, Bonnie Potter, who heard testimony from Lexington Police Department Detective Joshua Crowe.

Nikki James, 43, sits alongside her public defender, Bonnie Potter, who heard testimony from Lexington Police Department Detective Joshua Crowe.

Crowe added that several witnesses at the scene told officers they heard James make statements that she “wanted to go home,” and “she killed her kids, but could not kill herself.”

James was found to have deep lacerations on her body, Crowe testified. Multiple weapons were found at the scene.

Case sparked questions about mental health treatment

The way the initial case was handled sparked questions from the Lexington NAACP regarding Lexington Police Department’s response to the incident and whether the deaths of the two children could have been prevented.

The local NAACP branch previously asked the mayor and Lexington council to conduct an investigation into how police responded when they were called for a welfare check at James’ apartment the day before the children died.

In a 2022 news release, the NAACP asked additional questions of the city regarding the incident. The NAACP asked what information about James’ mental health had been communicated to police when they made visits to the home.

The NAACP also asked what was shared about James’ mental health and her children’s welfare that caused the police to not seek treatment for James or contact child services.

The NAACP also asked if law enforcement denied James access to attorneys during her time in the hospital after the deadly incident.

This story will be updated.

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