Boy testifies about accused baby-stroller shooter

Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013 4:27 PM
Last updated Thursday, Aug 22, 2013 12:33 AM
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MARIETTA, Ga. — At­torneys defending a Bruns­wick man accused of shooting to death a baby in a stroller suffered a defeat Wednesday when the boy charged with being along with the shooter testified about the details of the crime.

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De'Marquise Elkins is accused of fatally shooting a baby as he sat in his stroller.  KELLY J. HUFF/ASSOCIATED PRESS
KELLY J. HUFF/ASSOCIATED PRESS
De'Marquise Elkins is accused of fatally shooting a baby as he sat in his stroller.


The jury didn’t hear any of the testimony because defense attorneys had requested a hearing outside their presence in hopes of convincing Judge Stephen Kelley to disallow the boy’s identification of alleged shooter De’Marquise Elkins, 18, made during a police interrogation. After hearing the testimony, Kelley ruled the jury can be told of the identification.

The boy, Dominique Lang, 14, wore a prison jumpsuit and shackles as he slowly entered the courtroom in Cobb County Superior Court where the trial was moved because of pre-trial news coverage. Elkins didn’t move or look up as Dominique walked past.

The boy appeared nervous and disoriented as he climbed to the witness stand.

Most of his answers were one or two words until he described the events of March 21. He said he and Elkins had been acquainted some time before that day but not close friends when they met up less than an hour before the shooting.

Dominique was walking down Ellis Street toward his great grandmother’s home, and Elkins was walking the same way when they came upon a woman, Sherry West, pushing a baby in a stroller, 13-month-old Antonio Santiago.

“He asked her for her purse,” Dominique said. “... He kept asking for her purse. She kept refusing.”

Elkins then pulled a gun from his pocket and struck West with it and then threatened the baby with the gun, according to Dominique. The struggle continued around the stroller when Elkins shot the baby and then fired twice more.

Earlier testimony had showed that West was struck once in the leg and once on her left ear. The baby died instantly.

The boys fled to Dom­inique’s great grandmother’s house where Elkins made phone calls seeking a ride, eventually getting one with Dominique’s great aunt, Debra Obley.

Elkins’ attorney Jonathan Lockwood hurled repeated questions at Dominique to try to demonstrate inconsistencies between what he told police and his testimony. Dominique admitted he didn’t like Lockwood and that he was giving terse replies because he was eager to get off the witness stand and return home, or at least back to the Youth Development Center in Savannah where he is in custody.

At one point, the judge said even he was confused by the questions.

Dominique will be tried separately for murder, but today he tried to make clear his involvement was limited.

“I didn’t shoot no baby,” he said.

Kelley ruled that the jury could weigh Dominique’s credibility but that the photo identification was allowable.

“His opportunity to observe was quite extensive,” the judge said, adding a recap of Dominique’s rundown of the events. “It reduces the likelihood that there would be any misidentification.”

When the jury was present, the testimony included the cross examination of Brunswick Police Detective Angela Smith.

Defense attorney Kevin Gough got her to acknowledge that West was not investigated as a suspect even though an older child had died earlier in New Jersey, that she suffers from multiple mental disorders and that her poverty gave her a motive for murdering her child for the life-insurance payout.

West’s behavior after the shooting should have raised the suspicions of investigators, he said. But the detective replied that under the circumstances, the behavior wasn’t odd.

“She had just observed her baby shot in her presence and she was shot herself,” Smith said.

A big clue to West’s precarious mental state should have been when she wet herself before being questioned at police headquarters, Gough said. Smith replied that it had never happened before in her experience, so she had no reason to consider it a sign of possible guilt.

They also put Dominique’s great aunt Debra Obley on the stand to recount when she gave a ride to Elkins.

“I asked him why he was looking around like somebody was following us,” she saidl. “... The way he was acting was kind of strange.”

When she dropped Elkins off at the Manor House apartments, she noticed the outline of a gun through his pants and the tip of it sticking out. On cross examination, she didn’t mention the gun to the police the first time she was questioned nor did she mention seeing Dominique the morning of the shooting at the residence.

“I might not have told the truth about one thing, but I told the truth,” she said.

Prosecutors have another 30 witnesses still to testify before the defense puts on its case. One witness they hope to present is Dominique’s grandmother so they can ask her where she got the $23,000 she gave a lawyer to defend the boy.

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Fiat_Lux
16422
Points
Fiat_Lux 08/21/13 - 04:21 pm
7
0
The defence attorneys already know

they have almost no chance of winning.

Thank goodness.

datarelease
2
Points
datarelease 08/21/13 - 04:33 pm
0
11
FIAT

Clearly you didn't read the last 4 paragraphs.

Kingbiscuitboy
473
Points
Kingbiscuitboy 08/21/13 - 04:47 pm
6
0
Better negotiate a plea.

Dominique's testimony alone will convict him

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 08/21/13 - 05:33 pm
0
0
I wonder why those
Unpublished

stalwart proponents of human and civil rights, putrid punks obama, holder, sharpton and jackson, have held their tongues while more negroes commit some of the most heinous of crimes? They have proven they are worthless, racist bigots not deserving of opening their lying pie holes. The more they talk, the prouder I am that I am a deeply seeded racist bigot.

fedex227
11187
Points
fedex227 08/21/13 - 05:49 pm
1
5
Insurance policy on a 13-month old?
Unpublished

Maybe I'm the odd one out but do most people take out life insurance policies on their kids when they're that young? Just seems strange to me.

fedex227
11187
Points
fedex227 08/21/13 - 06:16 pm
0
5
Don't get me wrong.
Unpublished

I'm not a religious person but I would become one just so I could believe this guy would suffer all the fires of eternal damnation (or insert your own applicable torture). But the NY Daily News is reporting that West's 21 year-old daughter, Ashley Glassey, said her mother called her just days after Antonio's shooting to inform her of her young brother's death and also ask, "How soon do you think the life insurance policy will send me a check?"

Glassey said her mother's bizarre behavior of crying one moment and sounding completely fine the next, made her suspicious.

But I guess if there was any thoughts of conspiracy on the part of police it would have come out already.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/mother-shot-boy-stroller-insura...

ragingbull
945
Points
ragingbull 08/21/13 - 06:14 pm
6
0
It is obvious that there are

It is obvious that there are problems with this case, but it is also obvious that we know who shot the baby. fedex227, most people do have life insurance on their newborns, but not a large amount. The article does not state the face amount of the policy, but from the beginning this case has been about murder, with the alleged guilty suspect in custody. So, given Ms. West mental state, and her economic status, she was not paying a significant monthly premium for this life insurance. Having said all that, hell can not be hot enough for Mr. Elkins.

GnipGnop
12744
Points
GnipGnop 08/21/13 - 06:49 pm
6
0
Had policies on both my kids

as soon as I could...my parents also had them on me and my brother...not unusual at all...they are usually riders on a parents policy. You can insure a child when they are 14 days old.

myfather15
56736
Points
myfather15 08/21/13 - 06:52 pm
8
1
I've got life insurance on

I've got life insurance on ALL my children!! My 6 month olds have insurance through Gerber. I guess I'll be a suspect if something happens to them, right?

Ok; let's say Mrs. West MIGHT have something to do with it. IF, and that's a big IF; she had something to do with it, I hope she FRIES as well. But how does this in ANY way, take away from the cold heartedness of this young man, to shoot a baby in the face!!! DEATH PENALTY TO ANYONE INVOLVED!!!

CobaltGeorge
175578
Points
CobaltGeorge 08/21/13 - 07:37 pm
4
1
I Prefer This one...

In Saudi Arabia, public beheading is the punishment for murder, rape, drug trafficking, sodomy, armed robbery, apostasy and other offenses. Men and women receive sentences of death by beheading and are usually given sedatives beforehand. The condemned are taken by the police to a public place and their eyes are covered. A sheet of plastic is spread out on the ground and the prisoner is forced to kneel facing Mecca. The prisoner's name and crime is read out loud and the executioner is given a traditional Arab scimitar. The executioner generally takes a few practice swings in the air before poking the prisoner in the back of the neck with the tip of the sword. This causes the prisoner to lift their head so that it can be removed with a single stroke. The head often flies two to three feet away from the body and is picked up and given to a doctor who sews it back on. The deceased's body is wrapped in the plastic sheet and taken away for burial in an unmarked grave at the prison.

Fiat_Lux
16422
Points
Fiat_Lux 08/21/13 - 08:11 pm
4
0
Yes, Datarelease,

I did, in fact, read the whole article, including the last 4 paragraphs. And the defense case totally sucks. I surely wouldn't want to be holding that particular bag, and I'm not at all surprised they would try their dead level best to defame the mother and make her look like a "possibility". It's called creating reasonable doubt.

They have absolutely nothing else to offer to keep this sorry excuse for a human being from meeting his maker at the end of a government needle.

Some day. Eventually. When he's middle aged and starting to have to deal with his prostate.

oldredneckman96
5115
Points
oldredneckman96 08/21/13 - 08:30 pm
7
1
Blame the Mom?
Unpublished

Really? Two murdering pieces of trash and the defense wants to say the mom did it? Does the Judge not have the ability to imprision the defense lawers for such bull?

Graymare
3784
Points
Graymare 08/21/13 - 08:40 pm
5
0
Really??? Twist it on the mother??

Ridiculous to accuse the mother!!! If she was involved in any way, those two pathetic teens would have sang like canaries by now. What a piece of crap attorney!

Graymare
3784
Points
Graymare 08/21/13 - 08:47 pm
0
0
Witnesses who responded to

"Witnesses who responded to the scene said they found West desperately attempting to administer CPR to her child's lifeless body."

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/mother-shot-boy-stroller-insura...

Sure, she may have been wondering about the life insurance, she had to bury her child!!!!

curly123053
5378
Points
curly123053 08/21/13 - 09:16 pm
4
0
Terrible Lawyers!

For the defense attorneys to be blaming the mother for her son's murder is well below the belt. I have ZERO respect for the vast majority of defense attornies who are not interested in the truth. This judge should not allow these thug lawyers to be putting this mother on trial.

corgimom
38381
Points
corgimom 08/22/13 - 04:59 am
2
1
I have life insurance for my

I have life insurance for my two grandchildren. It's very cheap.

Little Lamb
49001
Points
Little Lamb 08/22/13 - 06:05 am
1
2
Infant Life Insurance

I do not criticize those who choose to buy life insurance covering the death of infants; but I offer my opinion on the practice:

One should buy life insurance to cover unexpected expenses that will cripple the family because of a loss of income. In other words, it makes sense to buy life insurance on the life of the breadwinner. It does not make sense to buy life insurance on the life of a non-breadwinner.

Buying life insurance on the life of an infant seems akin to buying lottery tickets to me.

jmo
18498
Points
jmo 08/22/13 - 06:07 am
7
0
To me....

it sounds like a reasonable question for the mother to ask the daughter as to how soon the insurance company would pay the claim. There was a funeral to pay for and I'm sure the funeral home had inquired about insurance. Another case of the New York media attempting to create a story that doesn't exist.

pantherluvcik
628
Points
pantherluvcik 08/22/13 - 06:29 am
4
0
I'm curious to know what

I'm curious to know what mother chooses her purse over a child. I'm sorry but I would have thrown him that purse even if it had a million bucks in it, especially if my baby was there and being threatened. Now that being said he's clearly guilty and this other dummy who was with him is hanging himself. No matter how minimal his involvement, he's just as guilty as the one who pulled the trigger. I'm sure the jury is capable of discerning truth from fiction in this case.

GnipGnop
12744
Points
GnipGnop 08/22/13 - 06:33 am
4
0
Have you priced a funeral lately?

Not many people have thousands of dollars just laying around....

seenitB4
97388
Points
seenitB4 08/22/13 - 06:58 am
4
0
OMG

Stop blaming the mom...she probably held on to the purse because she only had a few dollars to feed that child...

The decaying of America is happening right now.

overburdened_taxpayer
117
Points
overburdened_taxpayer 08/22/13 - 07:15 am
1
0
@ Little Lamb - Child policies

Most child life insurance policies are not term insurance so having the policy can give the parents a nice little nestegg for a college fund, wedding of the child later in life or whatever. Insurance is a good idea even for non-breadwinners.

curly123053
5378
Points
curly123053 08/22/13 - 07:19 am
3
0
Sorry Scumbags!

The only ones guilty of this crime are the pieces of crap who pulled the trigger. I too had life insurance on my child after she was born. Quit making a big deal over nothing. You liberals need to stop believing and having your thoughts twisted by some idiotic attorney. That man has zero feelings for the victims of crime. I am glad some of these posters are not on that jury!

Red Headed Step Child
4490
Points
Red Headed Step Child 08/22/13 - 08:01 am
2
0
Insurance

Totally agree that everyone in the household should have some level of insurance. As others have posted, burials and cremations are not cheap, and most people do not have money set aside for things like that. I have my children on my policy as a rider - I hope I never have to use it.

As far as looking at the mother as a possible suspect - you can't automatically discount that a parent could be involved. After all, there are lots of cases where the parent had something to do with the death of a child. Take Susan Smith for example - she drowned her kids and blamed it on a phantom black man. With any case, you have to work from the inside out to rule out possibilites.

kc fan
172
Points
kc fan 08/22/13 - 10:34 am
3
0
you never know

Buying life insurance on an infant is a smart idea for several reasons. One, if your child develops a condition later, they are insured and can buy additional insurance. Second reason, children die from accidents and to provide a proper burial is not cheap. Insurance on 6 month olds is cheap. My son was 8 mos old when we found out he had epilepsy. He would not have been able to get insurance or it would have been expensive because of a pre-existing condition.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 08/22/13 - 12:32 pm
0
0
It makes
Unpublished

me sick to my stomach that those slimy pieces of cow dung, obama, holder, jackson and sharpton, haven't opened their sorry negro mouths to condemn the killing of a child by a useless thug that should have been stepped on at birth.

Darby
29233
Points
Darby 08/22/13 - 02:16 pm
1
0
"Clearly you didn't read the last 4 paragraphs"

I DID read the entire thing. Don't have the foggiest notion as to what your point is.

pantherluvcik
628
Points
pantherluvcik 08/23/13 - 04:43 am
0
0
seenitB4 I highly doubt that

seenitB4 I highly doubt that those few dollars, no matter what you say they were for is worth losing her life or the life of her child. I don't know this lady or her economic status, but since she was concerned about the insurance money she must not be well off. I can asssure you she could have gotten some help feeding her baby. I'm not blaming her, i'm just making a point. I would have let him have the purse and worried about the fallout later. No amount of money is worth my life or the life of my child. I too can understand her having a life insurance policy on a toddler. Mine had theirs as soon as I could get them home. Nothing at all wrong with being prepared.

Darby
29233
Points
Darby 08/23/13 - 02:43 pm
1
0
"No amount of money is worth my life

or the life of my child."

.
On the other hand, no thinking, logical, rational person could ever anticipate that a human being could behave as an animal.

We need to accept that that is where we are in this "Great" society right now.

And it can all be traced directly back to the entitlement mentality that our politicians have foisted upon us.

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