(L) Dominique Lang, 15, (R) De'Marquise Elkins, 17
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP via USA TODAY) - A Georgia teenager shot a 13-month-old baby in the face
while trying to rob the child's mother, according to an indictment returned
Wednesday that also charged the suspect with shooting another person in an
unrelated robbery attempt earlier this month.
The indictment by a Glynn County grand jury charges 17-year-old De'Marquise
Elkins on 11 counts, including malice murder, in the slaying last Thursday of
young Antonio Santiago a few blocks from his home in coastal Brunswick.
Another suspect, 15-year-old Dominique Lang, was indicted on seven counts
including felony murder. But the indictment specifies that authorities believe
it was Elkins who shot the child and wounded his mother with a .22-caliber
revolver as the boys tried to steal money from her.
District Attorney Jackie Johnson of the Brunswick Judicial Circuit said in a
statement Thursday she would not seek the death penalty against either suspect
because Georgia law doesn't allow capital punishment for defendants charged with
crimes committed before they were 18. Both teens are charged as adults.
Elkins is now also charged with a second attempted robbery and shooting that
happened 10 days before the baby was slain. On March 11, according to the
indictment, Elkins tried to rob a person identified as Wilfredo Calix-Flores,
pointing a gun at him while demanding his cellphone and wallet. Elkins shot
Calix-Flores in the arm with the same caliber revolver used to kill the baby 10
days later, the indictment says. He is charged with attempted robbery and
assault with a deadly weapon.
The few details contained in the indictment seem to back up the story the
slain baby's mother, Sherry West, has repeated to numerous reporters: She was
pushing her baby in a stroller as she walked home from the post office when two
youths approached asking for money. West says when she refused, the older teen
drew a gun and shot her in the leg before shooting her son in the head.
Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering told reporters Wednesday before the
indictment was returned that investigators believe the crime was random -
something police hadn't said previously.
"We're comfortable now, six days into it, to say the location of the incident
and the victim were random," Doering said. "I don't have any information that
The grand jury also indicted three of Elkins' relatives on charges that they
tried to help him after the shootings.
The suspect's mother, Karimah Elkins, and older sister, Sabrina Elkins, were
charged with evidence tampering. The indictment says they threw the revolver
that police suspect was used in the shooting into a saltwater pond where
investigators recovered it Tuesday. Doering said the gun is being tested to see
if it can be linked to the child's slaying.
Karimah Elkins and the suspect's aunt, Katrina Elkins, were also charged with
making false statements to police. The indictment says the aunt told
investigators her nephew was at her house when the slaying occurred - which she
also told The Associated Press and other news outlets. It says the suspect's
mother told police that her son was with her when the baby was shot.
Kevin Gough, a public defender representing De'Marquise Elkins, has said he
strongly believes his client is innocent. The Brunswick News reported
that Gough has filed a court motion asking a judge to grant him access to mental
health records of the slain boy's mother, saying they could be important to
determining whether she's a credible witness.
Lang told a judge Monday he did not yet have an attorney. It was unclear
Wednesday whether he had been appointed one. It was also unknown if Elkins'
relatives had attorneys.