Baby-killing trial update
By MICHAEL HALL
The Brunswick News
MARIETTA – Jurors got their first look this morning in at the gun prosecutors say De’Marquise Elkins used to shoot and kill 13-month-old Antonio Santiago and wound his mother, Sherry West, on a Brunswick street as the second week of testimony began in Elkins’ trial.
Glynn County Police Capt. Tommy Tindale removed from a plastic container a black revolver with a wooden handle that he said was found early the morning of March 26 in a saltwater pond behind a group of businesses in the 3500 block of U.S. 17, Brunswick.
Tindale showed the weapon to the jury just before the court broke for lunch and after Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson had called several witnesses who testified that Elkins had the gun the day after the murder and that his mother, Karimah Elkins, 36, and sister Sabrina Elkins,19, retrieved the gun and may have thrown it into the pond.
Danielle Williams was living at an apartment on March 22 with Ronald Elkins in the McIntyre Court Homes on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard when she testified that De’Marquise Elkins, 18, stopped by and before leaving hid the gun under her couch.
“He asked could he put his gun in my couch,” Williams said.
Not long after, Williams said Karimah and Sabrina Elkins came over, went to the couch without direction from Williams, lifted the furniture and retrieved the gun.
Ronald Elkins, Karimah’s cousin, was asleep upstairs at the time and said the commotion of lifting furniture roused him. Ronald Elkins testified that upon going downstairs, he saw Sabrina holding the gun.
“My grandbaby was down there, so I took the gun upstairs,” Ronald Elkins said.
He then said he unloaded several live rounds from the revolver’s chambers, took the gun downstairs and gave it to Karimah Elkins.
Testimony by Willie Merrell earlier in the day put the pieces together about how the gun got from McIntyre Court to the saltwater pond.
Merrell said he picked up Karimah Elkins and Sabrina Elkins at a corner of I Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard later that morning in his Lincoln Towncar and drove them to the pond that he described as a fishing hole because he wanted to fish.
He said while he was there, he saw Karimah and Sabrina talking to each other near the edge of the water and at one point heard a distinct splash. Merrell said he did not see either woman physically throw the weapon into the pond.
“I heard a splash, but I didn’t see anything,” Merrell testified.
To support their theory, the prosecution called several Glynn County police investigators who had collected surveillance video from McIntyre Court and a gas station on U.S. 17. They testified that the video showed De’Marquise Elkins coming and going from William’s apartment before he was arrested March 22, Karimah Elkins and Sabrina Elkins leaving in Merrell’s car on the same day and the car driving south on U.S. 17.
Testimony is set to continue Monday afternoon.
Pick up Tuesday's issue of The Brunswick News for a full account of the court proceedings.