Our society is breeding monsters.
Last Thursday, in the coastal city of Brunswick, Georgia, a 13-month-old baby was shot to death while in his stroller. The baby was not accidentally killed by a stray bullet. The murder was intentional — the deliberate act of two black teens, ages 17 and 14.
Who would do that?
The AP reports that on March 21, 2013, Sherry West took her baby, Antonio, in his stroller for a morning stroll near her apartment in Brunswick’s Old Town historic district. Antonio’s father, Luis Santiago, lives in a house across the street.
She had just been to the post office a few blocks from her apartment when she was approached by a tall, skinny teenager and a smaller boy, asking her for money.
West told the AP, “He asked me for money and I said I didn’t have it. 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!'”
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.
Brunswick police combed school records and canvassed neighborhoods searching for the teens. The next day, police announced the arrest of 17-year-old De’Marquis Elkins, who is charged as an adult with first-degree murder, and a 14-year-old who is not identified because he is a juvenile. Police Chief Tobe Green 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. It’s not something I’m going to live with very well. I’m just glad they caught him.”
West said detectives showed her mugshots 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. It looked just like him. So I think we got our man.” But West said she thought the other suspect looked much younger: “That little boy did not look 14.”
West had lost another child to violence. In March 2008, her 18-year-old son, Shaun Glassey, was killed with a steak knife during an attack involving several other teens on a dark street corner in Gloucester County, N.J.
Sabrina Elkins, the sister of De’Marquis, refuses to believe her brother could have killed baby Antonio: “He couldn’t have done that to a little baby. My brother has a good heart.”
What is fascinating about the AP report above is that it makes no mention of the fact that the two suspects are black. It was only when I did a search for “De’Marquis Elkins” that I found the video below, in which Brunswick’s black Police Chief Tobe Green identified the two suspects as “young black males” (0:45 mark):
Update (July 25, 2013):
This is a developing story. Since the arrest of De’Marquis Elkins, another suspect, Dominique Lang, 15, was also arrested, as well as three more members of the Elkins family — Karimah, Katrina, and Sabrina Elkins, who are accused of trying to cover up the crime, by either providing De’Marquis with an alibi, or by trying to hide the possible murder weapon. All five defendants were in court on May 29, 2013, for a housekeeping hearing. The judge said he’d like to see this case go to trial by August. (Source: WTEV47 ActionNewsJax.com)
For WTEV47’s coverage of the Brunswick Baby Murder, including documents, click here.
Update (Aug. 24, 2013):
The trial has begun. On Aug. 22, co-defendant Dominique Lang, 15, testified in the trial of DeMarquise Elkins. Both teens are facing charges in the murder of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago. Lang told jurors how Elkins approached the baby’s mother, Sherry West, in an attempt to rob her. When West refused to hand over her purse, Lang testified Elkins fired at her baby. (Source)
UPDATE (Aug. 27, 2013):
At the trial yesterday, for the first time, the jury saw the .22-caliber revolver prosecutors say De’Marquis Elkins used to murder Antonio Santiago. And testimony from Elkins’ friends and relatives didn’t help his case. Family friend Danielle Williams testified that Elkins came to her apartment the day of the shooting, hoping to hide his weapon. She said, “He asked can he put his weapon under my couch.” Later that day, Elkins’ mom, Karimah, and his sister, Sabrina, came to pick it up. The jury also heard from a friend who said he drove Karimah and Sabrina to a fishing hole, the same place where prosectors say the murder weapon was found. (Source)
UPDATE (Sept. 2, 2013):
On Friday, Aug. 30, the jury found De’Marquis Elkins guilty of felony murder of baby Antonio. See “Guilty! Black “teen” did shoot baby in face.”