CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

National News

March 22, 2013

Police arrest 2 teens in Georgia baby’s killing

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — A pair of teenagers was arrested Friday and accused of fatally shooting a 13-month-old baby in the face and wounding his mother during their morning stroll through a leafy, historic neighborhood in southeast Georgia.

Sherry West had just been to the post office a few blocks from her apartment Thursday morning and was pushing her son, Antonio, in his stroller as they walked past gnarled oak trees and blooming azaleas in the coastal city of Brunswick.

West said a tall, skinny teenager, accompanied by a smaller boy, asked her for money.

“He asked me for money and I said I didn’t have it,” she told The Associated Press Friday from her apartment, which was scattered with her son’s toys and movies.

“When you have a baby, you spend all your money on babies. They’re expensive. And he kept asking and I just said ‘I don’t have it.’ And he said, ‘Do you want me to kill your baby?’ And I said, ‘No, don’t kill my baby!”’

Authorities said 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.

Seventeen-year-old De’Marquis Elkins is charged as an adult with first-degree murder, along with a 14-year-old who was not identified because he is a juvenile, Police Chief Tobe Green said. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the boys had attorneys.

Police announced the arrest Friday afternoon after combing school records and canvassing neighborhoods searching for the pair. The chief said the motive of the “horrendous act” was still under investigation and the weapon had not been found.

“I feel glad that justice will be served,” West said. “It’s not something I’m going to live with very well. I’m just glad they caught him.”

West said detectives showed her photographs of about 24 young men. She pointed to one, saying he looked like the gunman.

“After I picked him, they said they had him in custody,” West said. “It looked just like him. So I think we got our man.”

West said she thought the other suspect looked much younger: “That little boy did not look 14.”

The slaying happened around the corner from West’s apartment in the city’s Old Town historic district. It’s a street lined with grand Victorian homes from the late 1800s. Most have been neatly restored by their owners. Others, with faded and flaking paint, have been divided into rental units like the apartment West shared with her son. The slain boy’s father, Luis Santiago, lives in a house across the street.

A neighbor dropped off a fruit basket and then a hot pot of coffee Friday as a friend from the post office dropped by to comfort West.

Santiago came and went. At one point he scooped up an armload of his son’s stuffed animals, saying he wanted to take them home with him. He talked about Antonio’s first birthday on Feb. 5 and how they had tried different party hats on the boy.

“He’s all right,” Santiago told the boy’s mother, trying to smile. “He’s potty training upstairs in heaven.”

West said her son was walking well on his own and eight of his teeth had come in. But she also mourned the milestones that will never come, like Antonio’s first day at school.

“I’m always going to wonder what his first word would be,” West said.

Beverly Anderson, whose husband owns the property where West has lived for several years, said she was stunned by the violence in what’s generally known as a safe neighborhood where children walk to school and families are frequently outdoors.

Jonathan Mayes and his wife were out walking their dogs Friday, right past the crime scene, and said they’ve never felt nervous about being out after dark.

“What is so mind-numbing about this is we don’t have this kind of stuff happen here,” Mayes said. “You expect that kind of crap in Atlanta.”

It’s not the mother’s first loss of a child to violence. West said her 18-year-old son, Shaun Glassey, was killed in New Jersey in 2008. She still has a newspaper clipping from the time.

Glassey was killed with a steak knife in March 2008 during an attack involving several other teens on a dark street corner in Gloucester County, N.J., according to news reports from the time.

“He and some other boys were going to ambush a kid,” Bernie Weisenfeld, a spokesman for the Gloucester County prosecutor’s office, told the AP Friday.

Glassey was armed with a knife, but the 17-year-old target of the attack was able to get the knife away from him “and Glassey ended up on the wrong end of the knife,” Weisenfeld recalled.

Prosecutors decided the 17-year-old would not be charged because they determined that he acted in self-defense.

Sabrina Elkins, the sister of the older suspect in the baby’s slaying, said Friday evening that she believed her brother was innocent of the charges. She didn’t know whether he had a lawyer.

“He couldn’t have done that to a little baby,” she told AP. “My brother has a good heart.”

She said that her brother had been living in Atlanta, and only returned to Brunswick a few months ago. Typically, he would come by her house in the morning and they’d go to breakfast. But yesterday morning, police came to her door.

Her brother was walking down the sidewalk and saw the officers at her door but came over anyway, Sabrina Elkins said.

“The police came pointing a Taser at him, telling him to get on the ground,” she recalled by phone. “He said, ‘What are you getting me for? Can you tell me what I did?”’

Sabrina Elkins said, “I am devastated and I keep saying, ‘There ain’t no way (this is) possible.”’

Associated Press Writer Christina A. Cassidy in Atlanta and news researcher Monika Mathur in New York contributed to this report.

 

1
Text Only
National News
  • Fort Hood (UPDATED) Officials: 4 dead, including gunman, at Fort Hood

    A gunman opened fire Wednesday at Fort Hood in an attack that left four dead, including the shooter, law enforcement officials said.
    One of the officials, citing official internal U.S. Justice Department updates, said 14 others were hurt. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release information by name.

    April 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 18, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 17, 2014

  • mfp file Hoffner Fired coach unjustly accused of visiting porn sites

    The president of Minnesota State University-Mankato accused a football coach of looking at Internet porn on a work computer before firing him, an arbitrator has revealed. The official said the claim could not be supported, and the coach shouldn't have been fired.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • High School Stabbings 4 students seriously hurt in Pa. school stabbings

    A student armed with a knife went on a stabbing and slashing spree at a high school near Pittsburgh on Wednesday morning, leaving as many as 20 people injured, including four students who suffered serious wounds, authorities said.

    April 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • Obit Ultimate Warrior Former pro wrestler Ultimate Warrior dies at 54

    James Hellwig, better known as former pro wrestler The Ultimate Warrior, has died, the WWE said. He was 54.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_amazonfiretv.jpg Amazon introduces Fire TV to challenge Apple in living rooms

    Amazon.com Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos is stepping up efforts to win over customers in their living rooms with a $99 TV box for watching digitally delivered shows and movies, challenging Apple's TV device.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Washington Mudslide Death toll in Washington mudslide rises to 30

    As medical examiners painstakingly piece together the identities and lives of the 30 people known killed when a mudslide wiped out a small Washington community, one mystery troubles them.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • APTOPIX Fort Hood Fort Hood gunman sought mental health treatment

    An Iraq War veteran being treated for mental illness was the gunman who opened fire at Fort Hood, killing three people and wounding 16 others before committing suicide, in an attack on the same Texas military base where more than a dozen people were slain in 2009, authorities said.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supreme Court Campaign Big donors may give even more under court’s ruling

    The Supreme Court ruling Wednesday erasing a long-standing limit on campaign donations will allow a small number of very wealthy donors to give even more than is currently the case, according to students of the complex campaign finance system, and could strengthen the establishment in both parties.

    April 2, 2014 1 Photo