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Lexington mother charged with murdering her children enters not guilty plea

Nikki James appeared in court Tuesday for the first time.
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 3:45 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Nikki James appeared in court Tuesday for the first time.

She’s accused of stabbing her children to death. Police say 13-year-old Deon Williams and 5-year-old Skyler Williams were killed on May 2 at the Parkway Manor Apartments on Rogers Road. Dispatch logs show officers conducted two welfare checks at the home the day before.

In court, Judge John Tackett told James she was charged with two counts of murder.

People in the community are reflecting on the lives of Deon and Skyler. Shawn Pryor mentored Deon in a creative writing and comics class at Winburn Middle School. He says the boy lit up as he worked on a story about a kid wanting to be a superhero like his father.

Cerise Bouchard taught Skyler at Mary Todd Elementary School and said losing Skyler was like losing her own child. On Monday, dozens gathered outside Parkway Manor Apartments to honor the siblings.

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“I believe that there can be collective healing in grieving together, leaning on and supporting one another in the disbelief, in the shock, in the anger, in all of those stages that come with grief and trauma,” said Tomerial Brooks, a licensed social worker.

Brooks said we can also use this moment to talk about the importance of mental health, especially in communities of color.

“Cultural messages around strength, perseverance, resiliency, which could actually end up being barriers to seeking outside support, whether that’s professional or informal support,” Brooks said.

James looked on as the judge discussed details of her case.

A not guilty plea was entered on James’ behalf. The judge did not set a bond.

James is due back in court on Thursday for her preliminary hearing.

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