The Brunswick 18-year-old convicted nearly two weeks ago of fatally shooting a toddler between the eyes was sentenced Thursday to spend the rest of his life in prison.
De’Marquise Elkins was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole in Glynn County Superior Court. He avoided the death penalty because he was under 18 when the shooting occurred.
A Cobb County jury took less than two hours to find him guilty on all 11 counts in the death of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago, shot following a botched robbery attempt of the baby’s mother, Sherry West.
The trial was moved to Marietta due to the extensive publicity generated by shooting. Racial tensions in the coastal town were exacerbated when an all-white, suburban Atlanta jury was selected to decide the fate of a young African-American man born to a teen mom and raised primarily by his grandmother.
Public defender Kevin Gough said after the verdict that the racial composition of the jury was among the factors he planned to cite in appealing for a new trial.
Elkins’ mother, Karimah Elkins, was tried alongside her son and found guilty on a charge of tampering with evidence. She has not yet been sentenced.
Meanwhile, Elkins’ accomplice, 15-year-old Dominique Lang, who testified against him, is still awaiting a trial date. So is Elkins’ aunt, Katrina Elkins, 33, who is charged with making false statements to police.
Elkins was first identified as the shooter by Argie Brooks, who police said was “frothing at the mouth” and asked for money when he approached officers with information. Brooks, who lived with Lang’s aunt at the time, received $1,000.
A statement from Lang, who admitted during Elkins’ trial to telling more than a dozen lies to investigators, followed.
A Lawrenceville pastor wants his congregation to know the good news about the Gospel of Mark. Dean Sweetman, senior pastor of the C3 Church, has challenged his members and anyone else interested to read the New Testament book in its entirety over the next year and post Instagram photos of their notes.