The mother of the murdered Brunswick baby, Sherry West, sat in the front row of the courtroom and watched her own daughter tearfully testify against her before a jury, essentially saying the story West told her daughter on the day that 13-month-old Antonio Santiago was murdered in Brunswick, Ga. was just too unbelievable.
New Jersey resident Ashley Glassey, 21, testified her mother Sherry West, 42, called her on March 21 and told her that two teens shot and killed her son in a stroller and shot her in the leg. But Glassey said she was very disturbed that her mother immediately jumped to how soon she could receive the insurance money on the baby, which she had taken out on the infant a year earlier. Glassey, who had to pause multiple times because she was wracked with sobs as she recounted that day, also said that her mother changed her story several times, which made Glassey toss and turn all night. Therefore the next day, Glassey called the Brunswick Police Department and relayed her suspicions on her mother’s account of what happened.
“The whole conversation didn’t settle well with me and my mind was racing the whole night about the conversation I had with her,” Glassey said. “She first told me two kids demanded her wallet and one kid shot Antonio and then shot her. But then she changed the story. She then said she was shot first and then the baby was shot.”
The police, however, did not bother to call Glassey back.
“I called the Brunswick Police Department. I had left my information and said I was Sherry West’s daughter. I said I wanted to talk about it. (Ashley’s mother Sherry West) said some things did not just add up and I felt I like I got blown off I didn’t receive any call back” from Brunswick police.
West lost custody of Glassey and her brother — the late Shaun Glassey, 18 — when she was just 8 years old and eventually moved and settled down in the coastal port town of Brunswick in southeast Georgia. The mother and daughter have only spoken to each other very briefly in the 12 years since, most recently the day that Antonio was shot between in the eyes in his baby stroller. The daughter never got to see her newborn stepbrother. And West dissuaded her daughter from driving down from New Jersey to Georgia to attend the funeral. West quickly decided to have Antonio cremated with some of the $5000 insurance money she received ($2000 on the service) and used the rest ($3000) to relocate to another part of Brunswick.
When defense attorney Kevin Gough asked how her mother responded to her desires to come down to Georgia, Glassey said her mother told her “You’re not coming. It’s not safe.”
“Why was it unsafe?” Gough further inquired.
“She just told me ‘no, they would hurt me,'” Glassey recalled in court. “She said someone hurt Shaun, someone hurt Antonio and someone would hurt me.”
West’s oldest son, Shaun Glassey, was killed in a knife fight in New Jersey in 2008. Police there told reporters that Glassey was armed with a steak knife and, along with others, were going to ambush a guy in a dark alley. But the victim turned tuned the tables on Shaun Glassey, got ahold of the knife and wound up stabbing Glassey to death. He was 18 years old. He represents just one episode in a series of misfortunes and setbacks for the beleaguered family.
Ashley Glassey is out of jail just long enough to testify in court. She will return to jail on shoplifting charges in New Jersey.
Glassey went to testify that she finally got a call back after she was blown off by the police. That’s because she went to the media to tell them that her mother’s story was unbelievable and contradictory, that her mother had considerable mental health issues that included bipolar disorder and schizophrenic tendencies and that she asked about the insurance money too quickly.
“Did you get a call back?” asked defense attorney Kevin Gough, to which Glassey answered: “Yes, after I was already in the news.”
“You received a call from your mother after your statements were in the media,” Gough continued with his questioning.
“Yes,” Glassey answered. “She was very very mad at me. She said I had no business talking to the media. She said ‘do not talk to anyone until after the trial.’ She just yelled at me and that’s the last time we talked.
“She hasn’t spoken to me since,” Glassey added, frequently dabbing her eyes with tissues while her mother sat rigidly upright in the first row wringing her hands during her daughter’s testimony.