De'Marquise Elkins' defense begins

Elkins on trial in March shooting death of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago

MARIETTA, Ga. – The prosecution rested its case Wednesday morning in the trial of an 18-year-old accused of fatally shooting a baby in a stroller in Brunswick, and lawyers for De'Marquise Elkins and his mother began trying to discredit the state's witnesses by calling their own.

Elkins is charged with murder in the March 21 killing of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago in Brunswick. His mother, Karimah Elkins, is on trial alongside him on charges of evidence tampering and lying to police.

After hours of testimony Wednesday, the defense began the day cross examining Antonio's mother, Sherry West. She admitted that she picked Elkins' co-defendant Dominique Lang out of a photo lineup two weeks ago, saying he looked like the shooter.

When a defense motion to dismiss some of the counts Elkins is charged with was denied, Elkins' attorneys began presenting their case.

West's 21-year-old daughter testified that her mother's account of the shooting didn't add up.

Ashley Glassey, who is estranged from the family and lives in New Jersey, said her mother called her the night of the shooting, but some of what she said didn't make sense.  Glassey said in that first phone call, her mother asked her how long it would take to get the money from a life insurance policy she had on Antonio.

"She told me no, you're not coming down here, it's not safe," Glassey said when she asked about coming to Brunswick to pay her respects. "She was worried that they would hurt me."


Glassey also said that after talking to her mother, she was so concerned she called the Brunswick Police Department.

"I didn't actually get to speak to anyone on the case, but I had left my information and said you know who I was -- Sherry West's daughter," Glassey testified. "I actually said that I just wanted to talk about it, I wanted to talk about the details of the case because some things that she said to me just didn't add up, and I was very in the dark about the whole situation. But I'd felt like I got blown off because I didn't receive a phone call back or anything."

Glassey also said she was shocked when her mother insisted she not to come to Brunswick after Antonio's death.

Late Wednesday, the defense played a video of Sherry West's interview by Brunswick police hours after the shooting.  West was sometimes crying, sometimes laughing, sometimes going off on tangents about writing a book and finding love again.

The baby's father, Louis Santiago, is expected to testify for the defense on Thursday.

Lawyers for De'Marquise and Karimah Elkins said they expect to take about two days to present their witnesses and evidence, so closing arguments could take place on Friday.

If convicted of murder, Elkins faces up to life in prison.

The trial is being held in Cobb County because of pretrial publicity.