On March 21, 2013, a white woman named Sherry West took her baby, Antonio, in his stroller for a morning stroll near her apartment in Brunswick, Georgia. Antonio’s father, Luis Santiago, lives in a house across the street.
That makes baby Antonio half-white half-Hispanic.
West had just been to the post office a few blocks from her apartment when she was approached by two Black teens asking her for money.
West said she didn’t have any.
One of the teens fired four shots, grazing West’s ear and striking her in the leg, before he walked around to the stroller and shot the baby in the face.
On Friday, August 3o, 2013, after deliberating for nearly two hours, a Georgia jury found 18-year-old De’Marquise Elkins guilty of murdering baby Antonio.
Graham Winch reports for HLN TV that Elkins was also convicted of aggravated assault and other charges for shooting pastor Wilfredo Calix-Flores during a separate mugging 10 days before baby Santiago was shot.
Elkins’ mother Karimah Elkins, 36, who was tried along with her son, was convicted of tampering with evidence for her role in trying to cover up the shooting.
Both Elkins and his mother showed no sign of any emotion as the verdict was read. They sat silently, staring straight ahead as they have throughout the entire trial.
Elkins could be sentenced to life in prison for his convictions. He was spared from the death penalty, because he was 17 when he shot the baby. A Georgia law prohibits anyone who is under 18 years old during the commission of a crime from being executed. His mother could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison for her conviction.
Prosecutor and District Attorney Jackie Johnson called the defense’s accusation that West had planned her baby’s death a “grand conspiracy” and an attempt to distract from the reality that his client is guilty: “We have a defendant who preyed upon the weak. He preyed upon the weak when he was looking for Mexicans to rob, because he knows lots of times they can’t speak English. They are afraid. They might be here illegally. They may not even report to police. They don’t see any more Mexicans that morning. They see something even better, something even more weak, something even more vulnerable, a mother and a child.”
The teenager accused of being Elkins’ accomplice is Dominique Lang, who was 15 at the time of the shooting. Lang had testified against Elkins earlier in the trial, identifying him as the shooter. Lang has also pleaded not guilty to the multiple charges against him, which include felony murder. He will go on trial later, and also faces life in prison.
H/t FOTM’s beloved Steve
Dr. Eowyn is the Editor of Fellowship of the Minds and a regular contributor to The D.C. Clothesline.