Prosecutors in the Brunswick, Ga., baby murder trial have revealed what they believe is the motive behind De’Marquis Elkins alleged robbery attempt of Sherry West that led to the supposed shooting of her infant son.
Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson played a taped interrogation that investigators conducted on Elkins, 18, in Glynn County, Ga., on March 22, the day after the killing that garnered international attention and split the small, seaside city along racial lines.
In the tape, Elkins talks about the troubles he was having getting his monthly social security check. On the morning in question, Elkins said he was being picked up by his uncle John to go and see about getting a government check that had not come in for the month.
“My uncle John came to pick me up to go and pick up my check,” Elkins said. “We went to go see about my check because my check didn’t come. We got there early. We sat out there for about 30 minutes. And then we went in to see the man about my check.”
Later in the interview, when investigators zeroed in on Elkins, one of the investigators said “we know that you shot the child.”
“What?!?” Elkins shot back at the investigator. “Man, I’m scared of guns.”
Investigators said that they believed that Elkins tried to rob West and that one interrogator said “I know that you never meant to hurt anybody,” the questioner said to Elkins. “You were just trying to get a little money because you didn’t get your check.”
Elkins denied involvement in the crime and said he was not desperate for money. “My check?! Man, do you know how long I’ve been without my check?” the 18-year-old asked rhetorically.
“And you needed money, right?” The investigator probed.
“I don’t need no money,” Elkins responded, his voice rising. “I got a dad. My dad work for the city.”
After investigators continued to accuse Elkins of shooting West and murdering her infant son in his stroller, Elkins officially concluded the interview.
“I don’t what you are talking about. I don’t know what it is or what you’re doing or nothing,” the teenager said. “If I gotta go get a lawyer, I will call my auntie, I will get to the county and we can get a lawyer, and then we can do what it do.”
Elkins and Dominique Lang, 18, have both been indicted on two counts of murder in the death of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago in the small, port city in southeast Georgia. Both face up to life in prison if convicted. Elkins’ mother, Karima Elkins, 36, is also on trial in Cobb County Superior Court on counts of obstruction of justice for lying to police about her son’s whereabouts at the time in question, as well as tampering with evidence for allegedly throwing the murder weapon in a pond.
The state continues presenting their case on Friday, Aug. 23.