Rolling Out

De’Marquis Elkins killed Sherry West’s baby, accomplice testifies

Indicted murder suspect and star witness Dominique Lang
Indicted murder suspect and star witness Dominique Lang

MARIETTA, Ga. — Outfitted in prison fatigues and wearing chains around his feet, wrists and waist, indicted baby murder suspect Dominique Lang is trying to buy his way to eventual freedom by delivering his former friend to the state.

Lang, the alleged accomplice of De’Marquis Elkins’ in the racially explosive Brunswick baby murder trial and attempted robbery, was the prosecution’s star witness who testified that Elkins was the one who shot Sherry West’s infant to death on March 21 in Glynn County, Ga.

Lang, who is also being charged with the first-degree murder of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago, also said Elkins shot West in the leg during the violent confrontation in an upscale neighborhood not far from the housing projects that Elkins lived at in Brunswick, Ga.

Alleged shooter and Lang's former friend, De'Marquise Elkins
Alleged shooter and Lang’s former friend, De’Marquise Elkins

Recounting his story to the judge and attorneys, Lang said he met up with Elkins at the Glynn Villa Apartment complex on the morning of March 21 and that Lang proposed to “rob” someone. It was not long afterward that Lang and Elkins spotted and confronted West as she walked her baby in a stroller close to her home from the post office. After he demanded her purse, which West refused more than once, Lang testified that Elkins then retrieved a firearm from his pocket, a small-caliber handgun with a skinny barrel.

West would later recount the size of the barrel to investigators of the Brunswick and Glynn County Police departments.

Lang said that, in rapid succession, Elkins hit West in the head with the gun, again demanded her purse and threatened to shoot her infant baby. Lang said Elkins then fired a shot into the ground that ricocheted and hit West in the leg. Lang said he stood there frozen with fear because West began wailing for help. After repeated threats to shoot the baby, Elkins “walked around the stroller, and she walked around the other side, and he shot,” the baby between the eyes, mortally wounding the infant, Lang said.

The lawyer for Lang told the HuffPost that her client demanded a separate trial from Elkins and that he is more of a “witness” than a widely reviled reprobate and heartless monster who slaughtered an infant. Attorney Kimberly L. Copeland said Lang took no part in any shooting or robbery attempt and believe he won’t get a fair trial if the same jury hears both suspects’ cases at once.

“My client’s more of a witness than a defendant,” Copeland said. “My client didn’t participate in anything.”

“I think my client would be prejudiced by going to trial with (Elkins),” Copeland added. “And if the jury found (Elkins) guilty, they would automatically find my client guilty.”

Defense attorney Kevin Gough, in fact, wanted to have Lang’s entire testimony thrown out of court on the grounds that he believes Lang was manipulated and led to finger his former friend Elkins as the cold-blooded baby killer and shooter who also wounded the mother in order to procure some kind of legal leniency.

Judge Stephen Kelley, however, denied the motion to dismiss Lang’s testimony citing that even if he was led slightly by Brunswick and Glynn County police investigators, it was not enough to throw out his entire testimony. Furthermore, Kelley said Lang and Elkins spent a lot of time together on the day in question and Lang is the only one, other than victim Sherry West, to provide a first-hand, up-close account of the violent confrontation on March 21 that left a mother injured and an infant mortally wounded.

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