Prosecutors also have accused De’Marquise Elkins of shooting a pastor during an attempted robbery outside a church in Brunswick 10 days before the baby was killed.
An expert on eyewitness identification testified earlier Thursday that the photo lineups of suspects in both the pastor’s shooting and the baby’s slaying were suggestive.
Georgia State University cognitive psychology professor Heather Kleider said the photo lineup shown to West was suggestive because the men in the photos had distinctly different physical characteristics and not all of them matched a description of the shooter given by West. She said the lineups given to the pastor and another man had similar problems.
The defense also called a string of witnesses whose testimony seemed intended to cast doubt on prosecution witness testimony, and to question the thoroughness of the investigation into the baby’s killing.
One was Argie Brooks, a man who approached police Capt. Wan Thorpe the day of the shooting saying he had information about the killing. Brooks told Thorpe he lived with the aunt of the boy who shot the baby and that he needed money to buy crack cocaine to get the aunt high, Thorpe testified.
Thorpe declined to give Brooks money for crack but told him about reward money available in the case, Thorpe said. Brooks asked for a computer to identify the shooter and when Thorpe brought him one, he pulled up a mug shot of someone named Dominique Elkins, Thorpe said. When told that Dominique Elkins was in jail at the time, Brooks said he knew it was someone named Elkins and told Thorpe that if he had money to buy crack for the aunt he could “get old girl loose” and get more information, Thorpe testified.
The woman Brooks was living with was Debra Obey, who is the aunt of Dominique Lang, De’Marquise Elkins’ co-defendant.
Brooks testified that he got $2,000 from police for information he provided and had a written agreement signed by the police chief and someone else that said he’d get an additional $8,000 if Elkins was convicted. Gough told the judge it was important to hear from Brooks because he was a witness paid by the state.