A grand jury indicted two teens on Wednesday in a Georgia baby’s death during a robbery attempt. The jury also charged one suspect with shooting another person in an unrelated incident.
Both shootings stemmed from robberies. The teen, 17-year-old De’Marquise Elkins, was indicted on nine counts, including malice murder, in the death of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago.
The incident happened last Thursday when the teen tried to rob the child’s mother. Another suspect, 15-year-old Dominique Lang, was charged with seven counts, including felony murder.
However, the indictments states that authorities believe Elkins shot the child in the face and wounded his mother with a.22-caliber revolver.
District Attorney Jackie Johnson of Brunswick Judicial Circuit released a statement saying she would not seek the death penalty for either teen.
Georgia law doesn’t allow capital punishment for defendants charged with crimes they committed before they were 18 even when they are charged as adults.
The grand jury indictment was not received well by Elkins’ public defender, Kevin Gough. Gough stated that he felt prosecutors rushed to indict the boys before they collected all the evidence in the case.
Gough went on to say that he asked a judge for a preliminary hearing next week to determine if prosecutors have enough evidence to charge Elkins with murder.
However, the indictment means that a grand jury has already determined there is enough evidence to do so. They also ruled the defense will not get an early look at the evidence. Gough added, “It’s a major setback in the sense we would like to have an opportunity to test the strength of the evidence against our client.”
There are few details in the indictment, though they appear to back up the story the slain baby’s mother, Sherry West, has repeated several times. She recalled pushing her baby in a stroller when two youths approached her and asked for money. She refused, and the older teen drew a gun. He shot her in the leg and shot her son in the head.
Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering told reporters on Wednesday that he believed the robbery and shooting was random. While the teens were indicted by a grand jury, there is no word on when they will face trial.
[Image via ShutterStock]