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Jury selection enters day two in Brunswick murder trial

5:44 AM, Aug 20, 2013   |    comments
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COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- Jury selection will continue Tuesday morning in the murder trial of a Brunswick teenager.

De'Marquise Elkins is charged with murdering 13-month-old Antonio Santiago in Brunswick on the morning of March 21.

Prosecutors contend the teenager shot the toddler in the head after trying to rob his mother, Sherry West.

West had taken her son out for a walk in his stroller when she said two teens approached her demanding money at gunpoint.

After telling Elkins and an accomplice she had none, she reported the teens opened fire. West was also shot in the leg and ear, but survived her injuries.

Elkins is believed to be the trigger man, but another Brunswick teen, Dominique Lang, is charged as a co-defendant.

Lang is being tried separately, but is expected to testify against Elkins on behalf of the state.

Elkins is being tried as an adult and has plead not guilty to all the charges against him.
Attorneys spent all of Monday beginning the jury selection process.

The pool of potential jurors is 48 people. More than half are women.

It is also a predominately white group made up of those who are married, widowed, single, divorced, employed and unemployed.

Ages vary, too, from older to younger. One woman is seven months pregnant. Another woman works at the courthouse.

One man is a pilot for a major airline. Another man is an executive for a Fortune 500 company in Atlanta.

Questions from attorneys were both procedural and personal.

They touched on exposure to media coverage of the case, feelings about gun control and gun rights and if anyone is related or knows any of the key players.

Almost every potential juror admitted to knowing something about the case already through the media.

This is despite the fact Superior Court Judge Stephen Kelley moved the trial hundreds of miles away to Cobb County because of extensive pretrial publicity.

But only a few jurors openly admitted that they had formed opinions that might prevent them from reaching a fair verdict.

A few women said they could not be impartial because the case involves the death of a child.

Another woman said she might be sympathetic toward the state because she was the victim of a recent crime.

A couple men also said on the record they had formed opinions about the case already that they felt would impact their judgment.

Toward the end of the day, about half of the jurors were dismissed for the day. The other half stayed behind for one on one questioning.

The entire group is expected back in court at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. It is expected a jury will be seated for the beginning of opening statements.

Elkins' mother, Karimah Elkins, is also on trial. She is accused of lying to police and stashing the gun police believe was the murder weapon.

First Coast News

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