BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Circuit Judge Stephen Kelley tentatively scheduled an Aug. 19 trial date in the March slaying of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago.
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De'Marquise Elkins and Dominque Lang are charged with murder in the death of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago. Three women related to Elkins were also at Wednesday's hearing.
Elkins' mother and sister, Karimah and Sabrina Elkins, are charged with tampering with evidence, while his aunt, Katrina Elkins, is charged with lying to police. Sabrina is the only one who has bonded out of jail.
Lawyers on both sides had several requests of the judge... things which they hope will help them prepare for their day in court.
The suspects' defense attorneys and prosecutors discussed a multitude of things with the judge at the hearing, such as when they'll go to trial, if they'll be tried together or separately, and whether or not the trial will take place in Brunswick or if it'll be moved.
Both prosecutors and defenders said they supported a partial change of venue because they are worried that local residents would come into the courtroom already biased on one side or the other.
"We'd like to see the case tried here," said Kevin Gough, De'Marquise Elkins' attorney. "The citizens of Glynn County deserve to have the case tried here at home, but we do believe we need a jury selected from another county."
Though both sides of the courtroom wanted one, Judge Kelley decided against a gag order, where those involved would be prohibited from talking about the case. He oversaw as prosecutors handed over new evidence to the defense counsel, stacks of discs said to contain interviews and crime scene evidence.
"We're pleased with the quick pace set for trial," Gough said. "Mr. Elkins looks forward to his day in court. We remain confident that the jury will find him not guilty and set him free."
All the while, Sherry West, the mother of Santiago who was shot herself, sat tearful in the front row, praying for closure.
"I'm glad that they're still in jail, that they're where they belong, and we're hoping for justice," West said. "We do need closure and the sooner they're sentenced the better."
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