Defense attorneys have said in court filings they have audio recordings and documents showing the child's mother (pictured, right) had dealings with Gerber Life Insurance Co. According to its website, Gerber Life sells life insurance policies for children starting as early as infancy. Coverage runs from $5,000 to $50,000.
Ashley Glassey, West's 21-year-old daughter, said soon after the shooting that her mother called her after Antonio was killed and asked, "How soon do you think the life insurance policy will send me a check?"
One of Elkins' lawyers interviewed Glassey on July 30 in Woodstown, N.J., where she was in jail for failing to appear in court in an unrelated case. According to a transcript, Glassey declined to confirm the story. "I don't want to incriminate anyone," she said.
Defense attorneys also point to lab tests by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that found traces of gunshot residue on swabs taken from the hands of West and the boy's father, Louis Santiago. Reports filed in court say the GBI found a single microscopic particle of gunshot residue swabbed from the father's hands, while more than five particles showed up in swabs from West's hands.
The GBI report cautioned that gunshot victims can end up with residue on them. During a preliminary court hearing, Santiago said he touched the bullet wound on West's leg before his hands were swabbed.
In a court filing Wednesday, District Attorney Jackie Johnson argued that Elkins' defense lawyers have made "false, inflammatory and misleading statements" about the case.
While the toddler's mother identified Elkins as the shooter in a photo lineup, police say much of their evidence against the teenager came from his own family and the younger teen charged as his accomplice.
Investigators have testified that Lang told police he and Elkins were trying to rob a woman pushing a baby in a stroller when Elkins pulled a gun and shot them both.
Lang's aunt, Debra Obey, told police her nephew and Elkins came to her for a ride the day of the slaying. She said Elkins ducked down in the back seat of her car, as if he was hiding.
Four days after the shooting, police said information from Elkins' mother and sister helped lead investigators to a pond where they found a .22-caliber revolver. Both women were charged with evidence tampering. Elkins' mother, Karimah Elkins, also was charged with lying to police. Prosecutors say Elkins' mother and an aunt gave police conflicting alibis for his whereabouts at the time of the shooting. Karimah Elkins is scheduled to stand trial alongside her son.
Meanwhile, prosecutors say Elkins shot somebody else 10 days before the toddler was killed. Wilfredo Calix Flores has identified Elkins as the man who shot him in the arm during an attempted street robbery March 11. Police say Flores was shot with a .22-caliber bullet.
The judge has ruled that jurors can hear about a statement police say Elkins made the day after the killing. Police investigator Roderic Nohilly testified at a pretrial hearing that he and officer Cody Blades were escorting a handcuffed Elkins when the suspect said, "Y'all ain't got no gun. Y'all ain't got no fingerprints." He then referenced an acquittal.
The investigator said Blades just smiled at Elkins, who responded: "Oh, y'all got the gun?"
Channel 4's Tim Pulliam is in the Marietta courtroom as the trial begins. He'll provide updates to this story throughout the day and have live reports on The Local Station beginning at 5 p.m.