Beyond heinous

Toddler's murder paints stark picture of societal breakdown

There are far too many heinous crimes out there. But for some, the needle moves the short distance from “heinous” to “abhorrent.”

 

This is the category of crime into which you’d put the execution-style slaying of an innocent 13-month-old baby in a stroller.

Thank heaven the jury in the Brunswick baby murder case didn’t buy the defense canard that the mother was so flawed that the shooter wasn’t culpable, or that they had the wrong guy. De’Marquise Elkins was found wearing a necklace described by the mother and with a bullet in his pocket matching the kind that killed little Antonio Santiago in cold blood.

In addition, an Elkins associate hid a gun at his request, and his mother tossed it in a pond. Elkins also had taunted officers about a lack of evidence in an arrest interview.

Jurors took less than two hours to declare Elkins guilty on all counts. His mother, Karimah Elkins, was found guilty of tampering with evidence.

Truly, anyone who would shoot a baby in a stroller between the eyes would do anything, and must be put away for all time. Elkins, 18, is headed that way. If not for the fact that he was 17 at the time of the murder, he’d be headed for the death penalty.

But the case makes you wonder what kind of society, what kind of upbringing, leads to the production of such unfeeling, sociopathic creatures. Such a case, such an inhuman specimen, ought to be studied inside and out, in order to understand more fully what gives rise to such barbarism and to lay out a map for avoiding such tragedy in the future.

There are any number of frightful episodes and trends you could point to as indicators of societal breakdown. For that, shooting babies in strollers is hard to surpass.

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