NEW VIDEO: Brunswick Murder Trial - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

NEW VIDEO: Brunswick Murder Trial, Defense Attacks Mother's Credibility

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Sherry West took the stand on Tuesday, recounting the day her 13-month-old son was fatally shot in his stroller during a robbery attempt that also left her injured. Courtesy: NBC Affiliate WXIA Sherry West took the stand on Tuesday, recounting the day her 13-month-old son was fatally shot in his stroller during a robbery attempt that also left her injured. Courtesy: NBC Affiliate WXIA
Dominique Elkins took the stand for the second time last week.  Courtesy: NBC Affiliate WTLV Dominique Elkins took the stand for the second time last week. Courtesy: NBC Affiliate WTLV
13-month-old shooting victim Antonio Santiago 13-month-old shooting victim Antonio Santiago
18-year-old Brunswick murder suspect, De'Marquise Elkins, listens as his co-defendant delivers damaging testimony against him in a Cobb County Court last Thursday on day 4 of his trial. Courtesy: NBC Affiliate WTLV 18-year-old Brunswick murder suspect, De'Marquise Elkins, listens as his co-defendant delivers damaging testimony against him in a Cobb County Court last Thursday on day 4 of his trial. Courtesy: NBC Affiliate WTLV
COBB COUNTY, GA -

The prosecution rested its case Wednesday in the trial of a teen accused of fatally shooting a Brunswick toddler in the face and wounding the child's mother.

As NBC affiliate reporter Paul Crowley witnessed, the team began its defense by attacking the mother's credibility.

After putting Sherry West through hours of grueling cross-examination Tuesday, Wednesday defense attorneys were stopped from continuing their effort to imply that West had something do with the shooting of her 13-month old son, Antonio Santiago, in Brunswick last March, especially the suggestion that it might have actually been a botched drug deal instead of a random robbery.

Judge: "Whether or not Ms. West has ever done illegal drugs, has ever had sex for drugs or ever starved her children, really has nothing to do with this case."

However, the defense did ask West why she identified the wrong defendant in a police photo lineup.

Defense Attorney: "He is not the shooter. But he is the person you picked out two weeks ago when you were asked to look at these pictures again?

West: I don't recall that."

To further prove that she may be mistaken about 18-year-old De'marquise Elkins as her attacker, the defense called West's own estranged daughter as their first witness. Through tears, 21-year-old Ashley Glassey confirmed her mother's mental illness and poor memory. She said she called police after her mother gave her conflicting descriptions of the shooting.

Glassey: "I had a conversation with my mom and some of the things she told me did not add up."

Right now it's unclear when the 18-year-old murder suspect will take the stand. If convicted, De'Marquise Elkins faces life in prison. Elkins is not eligible for the death penalty under Georgia Law.

Fifteen-year-old Dominique Lang, who also faces charges in the murder, will be tried at a later date.

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It was a highly emotional day in court on Tuesday as state prosecutors called more witnesses to the stand in the trial of a teen charged with killing a 13-month old toddler and injuring his mother during a robbery attempt. 

News Three's NBC affiliate WXIA in Atlanta was present as prosecutors dug deep and attempted to paint a picture of the suspect as a troubled teen with a nose for trouble.

De'marquise Elkins, now 18, was 17-years-old when charged for the March murder of Antonio Santiago. 

Last week, the state called nearly a dozen witnesses to the stand, including 15-year-old Dominique Lang who is also charged in the murder case. On the stand, Lang identified Elkins as the shooter.

Tuesday, an associate of Elkins took the stand. Donte Jackson says he, Elkins, and a third associate committed another armed robbery that left a Hispanic pastor injured—less than two weeks before the shooting death of Santiago. 

The key to the case may be Sherry West, the mother of 13-month-old Santiago. Other than the co-defendant in the case, West is the only other eye witness in the case. West was also injured on the day her baby was fatally shot.

Tuesday West testified about her interaction with the Elkins who approached her. "I told him I have a baby and I have expenses and I didn't have it," she said.

 The teen threatened the baby when she refused to give him money a second time, West said.

 "He asked me if I wanted him to shoot my baby," West said. "I said, 'Don't shoot my baby.'"

 West said the teen fired a warning shot into the ground, then another shot that grazed her ear and another that hit her in the leg. He then turned toward the baby in the stroller.

 "I tried to stop him," she said. "I put my arms over my baby, but he still shot him."

 Afterward, the teen tried to grab her purse and hit her in the head with his gun, she said, adding she screamed for help and both teens ran.

 Asked by prosecutor Andrew Ekonomou if the shooter was in the courtroom, West said he was and pointed at Elkins. Seated at the defense table, he showed no emotion.

 West is expected to take the stand again Wednesday.

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The second week of trial kicked off Monday for a teen charged with fatally shooting a Brunswick toddler at point-blank range in the face during a botched robbery attempt. 

Eighteen-year-old De'marquise Elkins is on trial for the March 21st murder of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago. Fifteen-year- old Dominique Lang is also charged in the shooting. Santiago died and his mother, Sherry West, was wounded in the shooting during a morning walk while pushing the toddler in his stroller.

Last week, Lang testified that the day the shooting happened, he and Elkins approached the Santiago and his mother, and that Elkins attempted to rob the mother before firing three shots at her and the toddler.

Monday, the defense called another key witness, a childhood friend of Elkins. On the stand, Danielle Williams testified that Elkins asked if he could hide his gun in her home the day after the shooting occurred.

It's not clear when Elkins will take the stand. He faces murder one in the case. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.

The trial is being held in Cobb County because of the publicity the case garnered in the spring.
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The first week has wrapped up in the murder trial of a Brunswick teenager. De'Marquise Elkins is on trial for the March shooting death of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago during an alleged robbery attempt. 

Dominique Lang is also charged in the shooting. Wednesday and Thursday, the defense grilled 15-year-old Lang on the witness stand. Friday, prosecutors presented jurors with a dramatic re-enactment video of Lang showing police what he says happened right before the toddler was killed.

NBC affiliate reporter Jacob Long was there inside the courtroom in Atlanta, where the case was moved because of publicity.

For about 15 minutes in court Friday, all eyes were fixed on a television screen, said Long.  Superior Court Judge Stephen Kelley allowed the state to play a video re-enactment police made with Lang the morning after 13-month-old Santiago's Death.

The video begins with Lang showing Officer Roderic Nohilly where he says he and Elkins first met the toddler's mother, Sherry West, on Ellis Street.

Lang explains to Nohilly how he recalls Elkins struggling with West for her purse. Lang says in the video he heard three shots, just like he's been testifying in court this week. Around the first shot, Lang says he tried to leave.

Lang: "I started jogging, heard the first shot, started running."

Then the second shot.

Lang: "He shot. Pop and missed. It hit the ground, hit somewhere."

As for the third shot, Lang says he didn't see it, but say that's when Elkins ran away too. Police say the video was key in landing Elkins in jail.

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Thursday marked day four in the murder trial of a teenager accused of shooting and killing a Brunswick toddler at point blank range. It included more damaging testimony against the accused gunman, 18-year-old De'marquise Elkins.

Prosecutors argue that it began with an attempted robbery and ended with several gunshots that struck a 13-month-old boy Antonio Santiago and his mother, Sherry West, as they took a morning walk back in March.

Fifteen-year-old Dominique Lang is also charged in the shooting, and he took the witness stand for the second time Thursday in Cobb County where the trial has been moved because of publicity.

NBC Affiliate reporter, Jacob Long, was in the court on Thursday and took in all the testimony. While on the stand, Lang told prosecutors that the morning of the shooting was when he met De'marquise Elkins for the first time. The defense showed a picture of the teens together at an apartment complex in Brunswick.

Prosecutor: "Where did you meet up?"

Lang: "In front of Glenn Villa."

 Lang says Elkins had a small black and brown gun, and that he asked him a question.

Lang: "He asked me if I ever robbed someone before."

The two proceeded to walk to Ellis Street, Lang says.  That's where he says they first saw sherry west pushing Antonio Santiago in a stroller.

Lang: "Saw a lady on the street."

Lang says Elkins confronted and demanded her purse several times.  The stroller was in between them, he says.

Lang: "He was grabbing it, tugging it. She was refusing. He was like 5, 4, 3, then she stopped him."

Eventually, Lang says Elkins made a move.

Lang: "He came around the other side of the stroller."

Prosecutor: "Then?"

Lang: "He shot."

Prosecutor: "Where?"

Lang: "At the ground."

Prosecutor: "after he shot at ground, what happened?"

Lang: "At the ground again."

Prosecutor: "When he shot second time where?"

Lang: "leg."

Lang says after that, he froze.

There was a third shot, Lang says, but that he didn't see it because he was running away.  He says he only saw Elkins' gun pointed downward.  When asked in court about who fired that gun, Lang told the jury it was the teen sitting across from him.

Prosecutor: "Do you see that person from March 21st? Is he here?"

Lang: "Right there."

Prosecutor: "For the record, the witness has identified De'marquise Elkins."

The defense hammered away at Lang, and counted at least 11 lies he supposedly told police, including how many gunshots he really saw. 

Lang told the jury he lied because he felt pressure from police and was afraid.

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For the first time this week, the 15-year-old co-defendant of a man on trial for the March 21 shooting death of a Brunswick toddler has taken the stand.

Eighteen-year-old De'marquise Elkins is charged with the murder of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago. Dominique Lang is also charged in the shooting and was called to the witness stand on Wednesday.

Prosecutors say Lang and Elkins targeted Santiago's mother, Sherry West, in an attempted armed robbery that also left West injured. NBC Affiliate reporter, Jacob Long, was in the court on Wednesday and took in all the testimony.

Hunched over in a navy blue jumpsuit, Lang sat on the witness stand Wednesday as attorneys hammered him with questions.

Prosecutor:  "You understand you're under oath and can be punished for lying."

Lang: "Yes, sir."

His answers were muffled, but to the point.

Prosecutor: "Is that a yes sir?"

Lang: "Yes, sir."

Prosecutor: "Do you recognize the clothing on that person?"

Lang: "Yes, ma'am."

Prosecutor: "Where do you recognize that clothing from?"

Lang: "De'marquise."

But the defense says Lang's version of events isn't reliable.

Defense Attorney: "He can't remember virtually anything. He can't remember simple things."

Assistant Public Defender Jonathan Lockwood tried to show that Lang had trouble identifying Elkins during a police interview, and that he didn't tell the truth.

Lockwood: "How many times would you say you lied to officers during your interview?"

Lang: "About four."

Lang says he didn't know Elkins before the day of the shooting, but that he was there when it happened.  He says he took off and lied to police out of fear. "I was scared they were going to get me for something I didn't do," Lang said.

 It is unclear when Elkins will take the stand. If convicted, he faces life in prison.

 

 

 

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