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Teens to be tried as adults in Brunswick toddler's murder

5:41 PM, Mar 29, 2013   |    comments
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Complete Coverage: Infant Murdered in Brunswick

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BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- The two teens charged with the murder of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago are going to be tried as adults, Glynn County Police Department Chief Matt Doering announced during a Friday afternoon news conference.

However, according to the indictment, the death penalty cannot be sought against 17-year-old De'Marquise Elkins and 15-year-old Dominique Lang since they were under 18 at the time of the offense.

Doering said there is "no question" that armed robbery was the motive. He also discussed several other aspects of the investigation.

GCPD the lead agency

At the request of the city of Brunswick, GCPD took the lead in the investigation into Santiago's murder. The Brunswick Police Department is still helping with the investigation, Doering said.

Arrest of Brunswick City Commissioner

Doering said he could not discuss the specifics of the witness tampering charge against Brunswick City Commissioner James Brooks, as it is an ongoing investigation.

Brooks was released from jail Friday on bail. He was also indicted yesterday for one racketeering charge and five other counts.

Analysis of gun, bullet not complete

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Savannah crime lab has not completed its analysis of the gun believed to be the murder weapon found in a saltwater pond and a bullet retrieved from Santiago's body.

The saltwater damage to the gun appears to be minimal, Doering said. Police hope to have the results of the investigation within 30 days, though it may take longer since multiple examinations are being completed.

Doering also said he could not comment on whether relatives who have been charged with witness tampering were the ones who lead police to the gun.

Police have had several "all nighters" to follow up on leads, Doering said.

Number of arrests in case so far

The physical evidence in the case is still being processed and police are seeking more witnesses.

The number of arrests may be unusual, but it is not unusual for people to not come forward, Doering said.

"There are two tragedies here: The first is the loss of this innocent child," Doering said. "The second is that so many people had information about this case who could have helped solve this case much earlier ... "

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