The Brunswick baby murder trial is getting more convoluted as the days wear on. Many of the state’s and defense’s witnesses for and against murder suspect De’Marquise Elkins are already in jail or prison or facing significant prison time if convicted in their own unrelated trials.
This time it is Argy Brooks, the man credited with giving Brunswick Police Department officers the tip that led to the arrest and indictment of Elkins, 18, as the alleged perpetrator of a most heinous crime of shooting and killing Sherry West’s infant baby, Antonio Santiago, on March 21.
The problem? Argy Brooks is facing life in prison for armed robbery unrelated to this case. He also collected on the $2,000 reward for the capture of Elkins and stands to collect $8,000 more if Elkins is convicted.
Brooks testified that he made no deal with the state to turn in Elkins. Of course, defense attorneys do not believe Brooks.
“I didn’t do this for the reward money. Can I say this? Whoever had the guns to shoot a baby … I’m doing this for my conscience,” Brooks said.
Elkins’ defense attorney accuse Brooks of railroading Elkins and Lang.
Brooks testified that he was living with Lang’s aunt Debra Obley when he heard her mention her nephew’s involvement in the shooting of Antonio Santiago and his mother, Sherry West, who was shot in the leg but survived.
“I was the first person to go up to detectives. They didn’t have no leads, no suspects,” Brooks told court-appointed attorney Kevin Gough.
Brooks approached a Brunswick police officer and offered to get Obley high on crack cocaine so she would talk more freely if the officer would supply money for the drug. The officer declined. Brooks later told his probation officer of his willingness to tip police, and they picked him up for questioning.
Brooks is awaiting his own trial on armed-robbery charges that would result in a sentence of life without parole upon conviction. But he told jurors he has no deal with prosecutors in exchange for his testimony in Elkins’ case.
Defense attorney Kevin Gough countered with biting sarcasm at Brooks’ alleged “conscience.”
“Marky Elkins is the gift that keeps on giving for you,” he said.
“You call it snitch money. It would be ‘help money.’ It would be ‘please help money’ if it was on the other way,” Brooks spat back at Gough.