Thirteen month old, Antonio Santiago, will never have a second birthday.
Eighteen year old, DeMarquise Elkins is set to go on trial for the baby’s murder. His accomplice will go on trial separately.
Elkins is charged with the shooting of the infant boy who was just one week past his first birthday.
His mother, Sherry West, witnessed the shooting of her infant child while pushing him in a stroller in Brunswick, Georgia, in Glynn County, on March 21, 2013. A change of venue resulted in the trial being held in Cobb County, Georgia.
Witnesses said that the mother frantically applied CPR to help save the child’s life, but he succumbed to a bullet wound between the eyes. The mother reported that she was stopped on the street by the black teenage boys that held a gun on her and asked for her money.
When she told them she did not have any, it was reported that DeMarquise asked her if she wanted him to shoot her baby. Apparently, he then proceeded to shoot the infant child. DeMarquise’s accomplice is fifteen year old Dominique Lang,
While the grand jury indicted both teens, DeMarquise Elkins and Dominique Lang, on seventeen counts, including murder and aggravated assault, they will be tried in two different locations.
Four bullets were fired from a 22 caliber weapon. The mother was also shot by the teens, but she survived. One bullet grazed her ear and the other struck her in the leg.
They are to be tried separately. Elkins’ trial is to begin today, Monday, August 19, 2013. Lang is expected to testify in Elkins’ trial.
While neither parent is being considered as suspects, Louis Santiago, father of the infant, gave a suspicious alibi at the time of the shooting when the time frame did not match. He was reported to have been at Wal-Mart. He has been deemed a felon on other charges.
Mr. Santiago had primer residue on his hands from discharging a fire arm about the same time his son was shot.
Court House News Service reported: "Santiago asserted an 'alibi' defense, claiming to have been at Wal-Mart at the time of the murder. Santiago's purported 'alibi' is particularly suspect given the murder occurred at 9:12 A.M., but according to law enforcement did not arrive at Wal-Mart in Brunswick until no earlier than 9:34 A.M.," according to the motion.” According to Lisa Coston of Court House News.
According to Court House News, Ms. West exhibited bizarre behavior soon after the death of little Antonio, i.e. “Upon information and belief, Sherry West had her child cremated almost immediately following release of the body by law enforcement officers. Sherry West packed up and disposed of his personal belongings a day or two later. Sherry West informed at least one major media outlet of a ceremony for the child she subsequently acknowledged never took place.”
There were speculations that the defense team may try to point to the mother. They indicated that she would have benefited from her child’s death by reason of a recent insurance policy taken out in his name.
They are attempting to obtain her mental health records which they say will identify her as being bi-polar.
The defense lawyers will attempt to prove that she had mental problems after the death of her oldest son - who was stabbed to death five years previous.
Apparently Ms. West is no stranger to filing insurance claims. She had previously filed an insurance claim for a fire. It was purported that she negligently started the fire i.e., “Sherry West in State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. Sherry West, Superior Court of Glynn County, Civil Action No. 11-01372-063.”
Katrina Elkins told police that DeMarquise Elkins was with her at her house when the shooting took place. Elkin’s mother and sister are accused of throwing the .22 caliber revolver in a salt water pond. They are being charged with obstruction of the investigation. The gun was owned by his mother, Karimah Elkins.
The Elkins’ trial was moved from the coastal town of Brunswick, Georgia further north above Atlanta in Cobb County, which is about 325 miles from the scene of the crime. The Lang trial will be held in Glynn County.
If convicted, Elkins will face life in prison according to a report by Nina Golgowski of the New York Daily News.
Huffington Post files the follow-up report regarding the jury selection.