MARIETTA, Ga. — A witness for the prosecution testified Monday that a Brunswick man accused of fatally shooting a baby in its stroller hid a gun in her apartment.
The testimony kicked off the second week of the trial of De’Marquise Elkins, charged with murder in the shooting death of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago and wounding his mother Sherry West during a botched robbery March 21.
The day ended with a weapons expert saying there was no way to tie the gun police found to the crime and that the bullets taken from the baby and his mother were from different manufacturers.
Danielle Williams, a lifelong friend of Elkins, his mother and his sister, told the jury that he came to her apartment after the shooting and asked to hide his revolver under her sofa.
That afternoon, his mother, Karimah Elkins, and his sister Sabrina Elkins arrived to retrieve the gun and knew where it was hidden without being told, Williams said.
Karimah Elkins is being tried with her son on charges of evidence tampering and providing a false alibi to police. Sabrina Elkins is also charged with evidence
tampering but will be tried separately.
Ronald Elkins, a cousin of the Elkins, said he was woken by the noise and that “they were lifting up the furniture.”
He testified that he removed the bullets from the gun before handing it to Karimah Elkins, fearing for the safety of his grandchild in the apartment.
A long-time friend of Karimah Elkins, Willie Merrell, described how he gave her and her daughter a ride to their favorite fishing spot, though “it wasn’t a good day for fishing.” When they arrived, he saw the women discussing something he couldn’t understand.
“I didn’t see them do anything. I heard a splash,” he said.
A diver with the Emergency Management Agency and a police captain both testified that a small .22-caliber revolver with an empty chamber was pulled from that same pond a few days later.
Brian Leppard, a firearms expert with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, testified that the bullets that hit West and her son were made by different manufacturers and had different coatings, but he said they could have been fired from the same gun. He also testified that they could have been fired from the gun pulled from the pond.
On cross-examination by attorney Kevin Gough, Leppard said it was also possible the bullets were fired from different guns. Gough mentioned the possibility of a domestic dispute, and his questions seemed intended to bolster a suggestion that the real killers are the child’s parents.
Prosecutors said they expect to wrap up their case Tuesday, and West will likely testify. The defense attorneys for Karimah and De’Marquise Elkins said they would need about two days to present their arguments.