Baby-Killing Trial Update
By MICHAEL HALL
The Brunswick News
MARIETTA – Defense attorneys in the case against accused baby killer De’marquise Elkins plan to argue that Glynn County and Brunswick police had tunnel vision in their investigation of De’amrquis Elkins after a known drug user led them to his alleged accomplice, Dominique Lang, in hopes of getting reward money.
Assistant Public Defender Jonathan Lockwood told the jury during opening statements today that the entire case was built on information provided by Argie Brooks, an admitted drug user, who Lockwood said led them to Deborah Obley, Lang’s aunt.
Opening statements followed the completion of jury selection this morning.
From there, Lockwood said police were convinced they had their man and conducted the rest of their investigation while wearing blinders.
“After that, police got tunnel vision on Elkins,” Lockwood said.
Additionally the defense plans to show that Sherry West, the mother of the 13-month-old infant Antonio Santiago, who Elkins is accused of shooting and killing on March 21 in Old Town Brunswick, was seeking $5,000 in insurance money from a Gerber Life Plan taken out on Antonio. Lockwood said their evidence will show that West, and perhaps the baby’s father, Louis Santiago, may have been responsible for the child’s death.
Prosecutors say the evidence collected by police will include statements by Lang that match the story provided by West shortly after the shooting.
Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson told the jury Lang will testify that he met up with Elkins on the morning of March 21 and that Elkins had with him a gun.
“At some point De’Marquise said to Dominique he was looking for someone to rob,” Johnson told the jury.
Lang will then say that Elkins told him he wanted to rob someone and that he watched as Elkins attempted to get money from West before shooting both her and Antonio, Johnson said.
Johnson also said prosecutors have the murder weapon and bullets that match.
“I expect the evidence will show you that the projectile recovered from the baby’s head and Sherry (West’s) leg are consistent with being fired from that gun,” Johnson told the jury.
Also making opening statements was Wrix McIlvaine, attorney for Karimah Elkins, 36, who is charged with making false statements to police and evidence tampering.
“You won’t hear one shred of evidence of her having anything to do with the murder of that child,” McIlvaine said. “What I want to find out during the trial, and I am hoping the evidence will show, is why my client is here.”