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Georgia teenager convicted of killing baby gets life in prison

Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 6:31 PM
Last updated Friday, Sept. 13, 2013 1:05 AM
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BRUNSWICK, Ga. — A Georgia teen convicted of fatally shooting a baby in a stroller was sentenced Thursday to spend the rest of his life in prison with no chance of parole after the grieving mother asked a judge to punish the gunman for taking “the love of my life.”

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De'Marquise Elkins was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for the slaying of a 13-month-old.  FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
De'Marquise Elkins was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for the slaying of a 13-month-old.

De’Marquise Elkins, 18, stood silent and showed no emotion as he was sentenced in a courtroom less than two weeks after a jury found him guilty of murder in the slaying of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago during a robbery attempt.

“His first word was never heard. His first sentence was never said,” Sherry West, the baby’s mother, said through tears on the witness stand as she read a statement

The baby was shot between the eyes March 21 in the Georgia coastal city of Brunswick. West, and a younger teenager charged as an accomplice, both testified at trial that Elkins killed the baby after his mother refused to give up her purse.

Elkins was spared the death penalty because the killing occurred when he was 17, which the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled is too young to face capital punishment.

The judge also sentenced Elkins to 105 additional years in prison for other counts including aggravated assault and attempted armed robbery.

That included 30 years for shooting and wounding a pastor outside his church 10 days before the killing.

“We’re definitely disappointed with the ruling,” defense attorney Kevin Gough said as he left Glynn County Superior Court. “Life without parole for a juvenile, our position remains, is cruel and unusual punishment.”

Gough said he plans to appeal both the verdict and the sentence. Elkins would have been eligible for parole in 30 years had that been allowed as part of his sentence.

Ultimately the judge sided with prosecutors who spoke of the brutal circumstances of the crime and that Elkins escaped facing the death penalty only because he was a few months shy of his 18th birthday when the baby was slain.

“He aimed that gun right between that baby’s eyes and shot that baby,” District Attorney Jackie Johnson said. “I don’t know of a more inhumane act or wantonly vile act ... than to aim a gun at a sleeping baby in a stroller and take that baby’s life.”

At trial, prosecutors had said West was pushing her son in his stroller home that March day from a post office when two teenagers approached her, blocks from her apartment.

Dominique Lang, 15, testified at trial he was with Elkins when the older teen pulled a gun and demanded West’s purse. When she refused, Lang said, Elkins twice threatened her baby and counted down from five.

West testified she pleaded with Elkins that she had no money and tried to cover her child with her arms as the gunman fired a warning shot, a bullet into her leg and then shot the baby.

West left the courthouse Thursday without comment after sentencing. On the witness stand, she told the judge he deserved “a life in prison.”

“The love of my life was taken away, far away,” West said. “All I can do is cry and wonder when I’m going to die.”

Police recovered a .22-caliber revolver from a pond, and prosecutors said it matched the gun used in the killing.

Lang also faces murder charges. No trial date has been set and it’s unknown how his cooperation in the Elkins prosecution might affect his case.

Elkins’ mother, Karimah Elkins, stood trial alongside him and was convicted of evidence tampering for helping dispose of the gun. Elkins’ sister and aunt have also been charged with trying to help him avoid prosecution.

Elkins’ never testified at his two-week trial in August. But his defense attorneys argued police rushed to build a case against Elkins without considering other possible suspects. They even suggested the slain child’s own parents may have been the real killers.

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Fiat_Lux
15420
Points
Fiat_Lux 09/12/13 - 07:22 pm
9
0
Finally

Too bad there isn't some way to make this worse for Elkins. He surely deserves it.

scoopdedoop64
2366
Points
scoopdedoop64 09/12/13 - 07:35 pm
11
0
@Fiat_Lux

I agree. Now, he gets to go to jail and enjoy a life free of work on the tax payers. He will thrive in the luxury of our prison system. I know it may sound cruel but I believe that he should have been taken to his neighborhood before all his homies and flogged and then put to death. Do I say that because it will teach him anything or bring that baby back to life? No, but I say it would teach his friends and cohorts that this is the price you pay for shooting a precious little baby in the face so if you don't want the same thing to happen to you...don't do it! I believe it would it would cut down on crime.

triscuit
3085
Points
triscuit 09/12/13 - 07:55 pm
11
0
Even prisoners hate baby

Even prisoners hate baby killers. His stay will be especially bad I predict...and he deserves the worst.

nothin2show4it
120
Points
nothin2show4it 09/12/13 - 07:59 pm
1
0
You can't do that.
Unpublished

You can't punish the criminals justly. Think of the massive unemployment it would bring with those who work in the prisions if we put to death, all of the criminals who have taken lives. Think of all of the starving lawyers who would not have clients.

nocnoc
42555
Points
nocnoc 09/12/13 - 08:00 pm
6
0
May his stay be short and he

sees the need to test the reincarnation theory.

nocnoc
42555
Points
nocnoc 09/12/13 - 08:18 pm
8
0
Now what will the Sentences be for the Family of Lairs ?

§ 16-2-21. Prosecution of parties who did not directly commit the crime.
----------
In Criminal Law, contributing to or aiding in the commission of a crime. One who, without being present at the commission of an offense, becomes guilty of such offense, not as a chief actor, but as a participant, as by command, advice, instigation, or concealment; either before or after the fact or commission.

One who aids, abets, commands, or counsels another in the commission of a crime.

All the prosecution must establish is that the accessory in some way instigated, furthered, or concealed the crime.

An accessory after the fact is someone who knows that a crime has occurred but nonetheless helps to conceal it.

MBCarlton
32
Points
MBCarlton 09/12/13 - 09:22 pm
9
0
Bottom Feeders!

...and God ain't looking too kindly on those defense lawyers either. They suggested the parents may have been the real killers...Seriously????

Darby
25635
Points
Darby 09/13/13 - 12:18 am
7
0
They even suggested the slain child’s own

parents may have been the real killers.

.
And for that they deserve at least some community service. Disgusting people!

tanbaby
1293
Points
tanbaby 09/13/13 - 04:12 am
0
1
“Life without parole for a
Unpublished

“Life without parole for a juvenile, our position remains, is cruel and unusual punishment.” says the defending attorney....well cry me a river....how cruel and unusual was shooting that baby between the eyes??? hope the biggest, nastiest "baby killer hater" in prison gets to this [filtered word]first.....he deserves all the punishment he gets....

Marinerman1
4846
Points
Marinerman1 09/13/13 - 08:31 am
3
0
Should've Been the Needle

But I really like Scoops idea a lot.

soapy_725
43678
Points
soapy_725 09/13/13 - 08:40 am
1
0
Yes. The new capital punishment. Forced reincarnation. Yes.
Unpublished

Yes. The new capital punishment. Forced reincarnation. Yes.

soapy_725
43678
Points
soapy_725 09/13/13 - 08:41 am
1
0
Turn a negative into a positive. A new life in a higher order.
Unpublished

Turn a negative into a positive. A new life in a higher order.

soapy_725
43678
Points
soapy_725 09/13/13 - 08:42 am
1
0
Baptize him as a Hindu and reincarnate him on the spot.
Unpublished

Baptize him as a Hindu and reincarnate him on the spot.

Red Headed Step Child
4055
Points
Red Headed Step Child 09/13/13 - 08:52 am
3
0
Life without parole for a

Life without parole for a juvenile is cruel and unusual punishment?? Maybe said juvenile shouldn't have taken a life.

Guntoter 2
88
Points
Guntoter 2 09/13/13 - 12:10 pm
0
1
NOT TO WORRY
Unpublished

Them cons gonna run thru this perp like a laxative..he will never be the same..GOOD RIDDANCE.

Bizkit
31387
Points
Bizkit 09/13/13 - 02:10 pm
1
1
Sorry for my removed comment

Sorry for my removed comment but I thought y'all pick up I was mocking common sentiment. I'd never want anyone raped- although 1 in 10 are in prison. Nor is their any evidence he would be harmed. This young fool will one day wake up as he spends life in prison. Seems justice has been served just like Zimmerman-Martin. I find it interesting this trend in charging juveniles as adults - the SCOTZuS has already ruled to protect juveniles from the death penalty I believe?

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 09/13/13 - 08:55 pm
0
0
Room him
Unpublished

with one of the few bad gay boys.

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