Brunswick, Ga., official charged with interfering in baby shooting case

Friday, March 29, 2013 2:28 PM
Last updated 10:19 PM
  • Follow Crime & courts

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — A city official charged with interfering with the police investigation of a baby’s slaying in coastal Georgia made a mistake when he tried to help a teen suspect’s mother but believes he committed no crimes, his defense attorney said Friday.

James Henry Brooks Brunswich City Commission member was charged with obstruction.  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
James Henry Brooks Brunswich City Commission member was charged with obstruction.


The arrest of Brunswick city commissioner James Henry Brooks added another wrinkle to a case that was already tough to fathom. Authorities say a teenage gunman and his younger accomplice on March 21 tried to rob a woman pushing her 13-month-old baby in a stroller near their home. When Sherry West refused to give them money, police say, the gunman shot her in the leg before shooting her child in the face.

Brooks, who serves as mayor pro tem on the four-member city commission, was arrested Thursday on charges of obstructing a police officer and interfering with a witness. Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering did not immediately return calls seeking comment Friday, and his administrative assistant said the chief planned to make no statements.

Brooks attorney Alan David Tucker said both charges stemmed from a single encounter Monday. Brooks had attended a court hearing for 17-year-old De’Marquise Elkins, the murder suspect accused of shooting the baby, and was accompanying the teen’s mother.

When a police officer tried to talk to Karimah Elkins after the hearing, Brooks stepped in between them, Tucker said.

“He told her, ‘Don’t make any statements until you have an attorney,’” Tucker said. “That’s what he did. I tell clients all the time don’t talk to the police without a lawyer and it’s not a crime.”

Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering declined to discuss what led to the commissioner’s arrest other than to say the charges were “relative to part of the murder investigation” involving the child’s death.

Doering disclosed no new details of the case in a conference call with reporters Friday. He did for the first time confirm the baby’s slaying resulted from an attempted robbery, just as the child’s mother has said since the crime happened.

“There’s no question in my mind armed robbery was the motive,” Doering said.

After Brooks spent the night in jail, a judge granted him $5,000 bond Friday.

Elkins’ family rushed to the suspect after he and another teen, 15-year-old Dominique Lang, were charged the day after the slaying. Elkins’ aunt insisted he was having breakfast at her house when the shooting occurred.

Tucker said the commissioner at first believed the family that police were rushing to prosecute Elkins and wanted to help. That was before the mom and De’Marquise Elkins’ older sister, Sabrina Elkins, were charged with evidence tampering. Prosecutors say they tried to dispose of a .22-caliber revolver, which police suspect was used to shoot the baby, by dumping it in a saltwater pond where investigators found the weapon.

The two women had their court first appearance Friday. The Florida Times Union reported (http://bit.ly/165fjYy) a Magistrate Court judge advised them of their rights and said he would conduct a bond hearing at a later date.

Elkins’ mother and his aunt, Katrina Elkins, have also been charged with making false statements to police. Prosecutors say the women gave false <0x2014> and conflicting – alibis for the suspect.

“They’re constituents of Commissioner Brooks’ and he went to bat for them” before the women were charged, Tucker said. “Unfortunately he picked the wrong ones to go to bat for.”

The commissioner has other legal problems that aren’t connected to the baby killing. Also Thursday a grand jury in neighboring Camden County indicted Brooks on racketeering and other charges saying he abused his elected office by getting applicants for police jobs, liquor licenses and permits to pay him in exchange for his help influencing other officials. Tucker said Brooks did nothing illegal.

Attorneys for De’Marquise Elkins and Lang say have both said their clients are innocent.

Comments (20) Add comment
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David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 03/29/13 - 02:44 pm
7
0
Fella seems to have a knack

Fella seems to have a knack for getting arrested. Guess he's either the most falsely accused person I've heard of in a long time or he just can't help himself from breaking the law. And a commissioner to boot.

lifelongresident
1323
Points
lifelongresident 03/29/13 - 03:19 pm
0
0
he sounds like "ole rev al
Unpublished

he sounds like "ole rev al sharpton"...uhhhh well tawanna told-did me she's be raped and cuse uhhh ummmm i believed-did her cause she be black...this guy sounds just like that...."they be tricked us about dey child..dey told-did he was wit dem when dat baby was kilt"

dichotomy
34359
Points
dichotomy 03/29/13 - 04:20 pm
14
2
Crooked and a race baiter. He

Crooked and a race baiter. He should move to Augusta and run for commissioner. He'd fit right in.

soapy_725
43757
Points
soapy_725 03/29/13 - 04:23 pm
0
0
Generational lawlessness.
Unpublished

Criminals mentoring criminals. Can our country get any sicker?

We digress into beastly animals.

soapy_725
43757
Points
soapy_725 03/29/13 - 04:25 pm
0
0
Sworn to uphold the laws and constitution of the USA.
Unpublished

Just like his Messiah.

Red Headed Step Child
4184
Points
Red Headed Step Child 03/29/13 - 04:43 pm
10
2
Wonder why he didn't stand up for the victim too...

I guess she was from a different district..

americafirst
966
Points
americafirst 03/29/13 - 05:20 pm
7
1
I think he was the only one

I think he was the only one "duped" by the alibi story. And if he can't serve his constituents while banned from Brunswick how can he serve them from a jail cell?

Just My Opinion
5859
Points
Just My Opinion 03/29/13 - 05:32 pm
8
2
dichotomy is right on the

dichotomy is right on the money...the dude would fit in here very nicely! I just can't believe that a government official would step in and immediately side with anyone from this shady family against someone from law enforcement.
And yes, his constituents and the rest of the city SHOULD be embarassed by this man's actions.

dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 03/29/13 - 05:41 pm
9
0
"... move to Augusta and run for commissioner..."

Or to replace Al or Jessie, they're getting kinda long in the tooth. He's got the right legal background --lying grandstanding criminal-- and the correct colour.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 03/29/13 - 05:41 pm
0
0
Why is it
Unpublished

that blacks feel it is their duty to obstruct justice and not be held accountable for their actions? Examples: jesse jackson, jesse jackson jr. and his wife, kwame kilpatrick, al sharpton, charlie rangel, james clyburn, eric holder, bill campbell and a host of members of the congressional black caucus. Whites are such cowards that they turn their heads the other way and say " we'll give them a pass". Many wrongs were committed against blacks in the past but since 1964 the whining, crying and irresponsibility by thay minority community has exceeded their contributions. Get off of your derrieres, get an education and get a legitimate job!

dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 03/29/13 - 05:42 pm
7
0
fatboyhog
2000
Points
fatboyhog 03/29/13 - 06:29 pm
9
0
There are no words...

well, there are lots of words I'd like to use to describe this person. But, my comment would most definitely get deleted.

Why won't people (that's my nice description) like this shut up and let the police do their job? Does this person (nice word again) know how much probable cause is needed to get a warrant for a murder? He's not much of a man if he can't go on camera and apologize to the police department and the community.

What would this person (nice word, yet again) do if the Brunswick PD announced that henceforth, none of Brooks' constituents would ever be arrested, no matter the evidence, until Brooks and his attorney gave the ok, which could only occur after they consulted with the family of the criminal to make sure that they consented to the arrest of their "innocent" loved one.

What a jerk (and believe me, this is a nice word, too).

nocnoc
44843
Points
nocnoc 03/29/13 - 06:54 pm
10
1
Yet another person jumping on the Race card side

to play it for fame, popularity and votes.

Lets see he refused to obey the following legal rulings:

* NOT TO Contact any witness or potential witness in the case;

* NOT TO Contact any member of law enforcement officer involved in the case;

* NOT TO enter any building with a Brunswick Police Department office unless invited or to conduct official city business;

* NOT TO give legal advice to defendants, potential defendants and witnesses in the investigation.

He also REFUSED to obey all lawful commands of any law enforcement officer involved in the case.

Brooks still has the issue of bail on the racketeering indictment on Monday to deal with.

OBTW: He sounds like a racially motivated Podex perfectus in a Commissioner's role, doing a Lame imitation of Rev Al and Rev Jesse.

allhans
24005
Points
allhans 03/29/13 - 07:42 pm
6
0
He sure is easily

He sure is easily duped.
Actually it was all about race. The victim wasn't black...

KSL
134306
Points
KSL 03/29/13 - 09:02 pm
8
2
Obviously Brooks thinks he is

Obviously Brooks thinks he is above the law. Throw the book at him.

KSL
134306
Points
KSL 03/29/13 - 09:05 pm
7
1
nocnoc

Totally right!

KSL
134306
Points
KSL 03/29/13 - 09:08 pm
5
1
Red thumb

Prove me wrong! You can't, can you?

KSL
134306
Points
KSL 03/29/13 - 11:32 pm
5
0
Back up what you think. Can't

Back up what you think. Can't do it, obviously.

KSL
134306
Points
KSL 03/29/13 - 11:52 pm
3
1
Nice, trim haircut until you

Nice, trim haircut until you look at the back up his neck.

oldredneckman96
5115
Points
oldredneckman96 03/30/13 - 01:34 am
6
1
Race
Unpublished

Now you see what is really happening in the case with Martin and Zimmerman. We must get Osama out of the WH.

JRC2024
9284
Points
JRC2024 03/30/13 - 08:03 am
4
0
What business has he got

What business has he got getting involved anyway. His commission seat got to big for him. Commissioners do you job and stay out of the law enforcement side because it is none of your business.

seenitB4
90705
Points
seenitB4 03/30/13 - 09:13 am
3
0
itsanotherday1
45338
Points
itsanotherday1 03/30/13 - 09:18 am
3
0
When did "constituent

When did "constituent services" start including getting involved in criminal cases?

Darby
26888
Points
Darby 03/30/13 - 09:04 pm
2
0
Wait....

Do you smell that??

Something really stinks with this case..

Jane18
12332
Points
Jane18 03/31/13 - 08:41 am
0
0
Can You Say.....

I AM A BIGSHOT!("someone help me get my foot out of my mouth....")

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