Georgia judge says he wants trial before year ends

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BRUNSWICK, Ga. — A judge said Friday he wants a trial before the end of the year for a teenager charged with fatally shooting a 13-month-old baby in the face during a street robbery two weeks ago.

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De'Marquise Elkins, 17, listens to proceedings during his bond hearing Friday while sitting next to his lawyer, defense attorney Kevin Gough.  STEPHEN MORTON/ASSOCIATED PRESS
STEPHEN MORTON/ASSOCIATED PRESS
De'Marquise Elkins, 17, listens to proceedings during his bond hearing Friday while sitting next to his lawyer, defense attorney Kevin Gough.


Glynn County Superior Court Judge Stephen Kelley didn’t give a tentative trial date for 17-year-old De’Marquis Elkins. District Attorney Jackie Johnson told the judge she thought investigators would have evidence ready to share with Elkins’ defense lawyers next month. The judge scheduled the suspect’s next hearing for May 24.

“I do expect we will try this case by the end of this year,” Kelley told the attorneys at the end of a bond hearing Friday morning.

The judge denied Elkins’ request for bond, saying he was concerned the suspect might flee if he was released.

Elkins faces life in prison if convicted of malice murder in the March 21 slaying of Antonio Santiago. Police say the boy was shot in a robbery attempt. His mother, Sherry West, has said she was pushing her son in his stroller a few blocks from her apartment when two youths approached asking for money. When she refused, she said, one of them drew a gun and shot her in the leg before shooting her baby in the face.

An indictment last week identified Elkins as the person who pulled the trigger. Another teenager, 15-year-old Dominique Lang, has been charged with murder as an accomplice.

“Mr. Elkins is certainly disappointed with the decision” to deny him bond, said Kevin Gough, the suspect’s defense attorney. “But he is also every encouraged by the speedy trial schedule the court is considering.”

Gough had urged the judge to consider bond for Elkins based on his lack of any prior felony record, though Elkins pleaded guilty last year to misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession and giving a false name to a police officer.

The suspect’s 78-year-old great-grandfather, McKinley Elkins Jr., took the witness stand and promised he would look after his great-grandson if he was released from jail pending trial.

But just how well the great-grandfather knew Elkins was called into question when he was unable to tell District Attorney Jackie Johnson where the teenager went to school, whether he had any tattoos, or even where he lived.

Roderic Nohilly, a Glynn County police detective, told the judge Elkins had several tattoos – a teardrop by his right eye, his mother’s name on his right arm, a skull on his abdomen and the words “Thug Life” across his chest.

Nohilly said Elkins’ tattoos contained symbols affiliated with gangs. Gough argued that Elkins’ tattoos aren’t proof that he’s a gang member.

“Are you familiar with the word ‘poser,’ ” Gough asked the detective. “There are quite a few young men who run around town trying to pretend they’re something they are not, aren’t there?”

Nohilly said he agreed there were. “Some of them carrying guns,” he said.

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bubbasauce
22008
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bubbasauce 04/06/13 - 11:44 am
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This thug needs the death

This thug needs the death penalty. I don't care how old he is. Another cowardly act by a little punk. Fry him!

nocnoc
44785
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nocnoc 04/06/13 - 09:53 pm
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“Mr. Elkins is certainly

“Mr. Elkins is certainly disappointed with the decision” to deny him bond, said Kevin Gough, the suspect’s defense attorney.

YEP!, So much for skipping town with some more family help.

IF he does not luck up and draw a chicken OJ type Jury, and he is found guilty, may his sentence be carried out as quick as his trial.

itsanotherday1
45304
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itsanotherday1 04/06/13 - 10:45 pm
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I might be wrong, but I don't

I might be wrong, but I don't think at 17 he can face death. Someone feel free to correct that if I'm wrong.

Life witout parole would suit me for little Mr. Thug Life.

carcraft
26989
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carcraft 04/10/13 - 07:05 am
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My my my, no Jessie Jackson

My my my, no Jessie Jackson or Ai Sharpton protesting! Still haven't heard Obama say he could look like one of his sons!

Darby
26878
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Darby 08/04/13 - 11:20 pm
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Nohilly said he agreed there were.

“Some of them carrying guns,” he said.

Snappy comeback.. I like this guy...

Darby
26878
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Darby 08/04/13 - 11:22 pm
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"Still haven't heard Obama say he could

look like one of his sons!"

.
No, but if this thug had a daddy, he'd look like _____________ . (Feel free to fill in the blank.)

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