MARIETTA, Ga. — Photos of a lifeless infant laying on a stretcher with a gunshot wound between the eyes made the jurors recoil in horror in the De’Marquis Elkins baby murder trial.
Elkins showed no emotion as the photos were flashed in the Cobb County Superior Courthouse in Marietta, Ga.
Jurors and others in the courtroom audibly gasped and shed tears when Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson began her case after opening arguments by using the visual evidence of the crime scene.
The images of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago, the son of alleged robbery victim Sherry West, lying lifeless on a blood-drenched blanket with a bullet hole in his forehead, was by far the most dramatic moment of the opening day of the trial.
Antonio Santiago was murdered in Brunswick, Ga. on March 21 while returning home from the post office with his mother in an affluent neighborhood in the seaside port town. West was also shot in the leg during the fracas that Johnson told the jury was the result of a robbery attempt by Elkins and his alleged accomplice Dominique Lang.
The public defenders counter that West shot her own son for insurance money and took pains to point out that she and her ex-boyfriend, Louis Santiago, had gun residue on their hands.
Elkins has pleaded not guilty to murder, cruelty to children, aggravated assault, attempted armed robbery and possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime.
Dominique Lang, 15, is going to be the state’s star witness who prosecutor Johnson says can tie all the pieces together for the case against Elkins. Lang, who is also facing first-degree murder charges, will face trial in Glynn County at a later date.