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Live blog: Mom of slain baby sobs in court

  • De'Marquise Elkins, 18, is charged with murder for allegedly shooting a 13-month-old boy in the face
  • Mother of baby is on the stand right now
Live blog: Mom of slain baby sobs in court

A mother whose baby was gunned down in the streets of Brunswick, Georgia, in broad daylight is recounting the traumatic event in court right now as she testifies against De'Marquise Elkins, the teen accused of pulling the trigger.

Sherry West was pushing her baby, Antonio Santiago, in a stroller down a street in the coastal town on March 21 when two teenagers allegedly tried to mug her.

West told reporters shortly after the shooting that one of the teens demanded money and pointed a gun at her. The gunman fired at her twice, missing her head but hitting her in the leg. West said the teen then shot her baby in the face.

The mother is expected to be the last witness prosecutors will call to the stand before they rest their case.

Elkins, then 17, is facing multiple charges, including malice and felony murder. Elkins has pleaded not guilty and is facing life in prison. The death penalty is not an option in Elkins' case because a Georgia law prohibits anyone who is under 18 years old during the commission of a crime from being executed.

Intense media attention and public outrage pushed a judge to move Elkins’ trial from Glynn County, Georgia, to Cobb County in Metro Atlanta.

The teenager accused of being Elkins' accomplice is Dominique Lang, who was 15 years old at the time of the shooting. Although Lang is a minor, HLN is identifying him because he is charged as an adult and media outlets have been naming him since his arrest.

Lang has also pleaded not guilty to the multiple charges against him, which include felony murder. He will go on trial later, separately from Elkins, and also faces life in prison. Lang testified against Elkins earlier in the trial, identifying him as the shooter.

HLN is live-blogging Tuesday's testimony. Read below for minute-by-minute updates from court (Best read from the bottom up:

7:36 p.m. ET:

Prosecutor Ekonomou argues West's cross-examination has crossed the line and asks the judge to reign it in. She has been on the stand for roughly 4 hours at this point, with no end in sight. He says she has been subject to "undue embarrassment" and questioning over alleged drug use, sexual history and child abuse.

The cross-examination of West will resume tomorrow morning. Detective David Moore will follow West and will be the prosecution's last witness.

The judge has recessed court for the evening. The attorneys will argue motions at 8:30 a.m ET, and the Jury will be back in court at 9:00 a.m. ET.

6:43 p.m. ET: 

Gough argues West was referring to herself with her "bizarre chilling statements" as the actual killer of Antonio who also was actually the one who starved who own children. 
He cited Division of Family and Children Services or DFACS evidence that West lost custody of Ashley when she was very young. They intend to present her older daughter, Ashley Glassey, to testify to this.
"She is projecting her life onto the shooter's"
The Judge will allow Gough to ask West about her comments to police, but not about DFACS custody issues with her daughter, and he will tell jury to disregard the statement about starving the child.

6:28 p.m. ET:

West said she was taking Vicodin the morning of the shooting for injury to her leg. 
Gough asked if the combination of Vicodin and other drugs explain her behavior at police station.
"It made me drowsy," said West.
Gough said West gave bizarre statements about the attacker.
"'He was a little delinquent, his mama was a crack whore, they probably took his food money to spend on crack cocaine." "Attackers had a whore drug addict mother who didn't buy them food,'" said Gough. "Weren't you really referring to yourself? Didn't you starve your daughter, Ashley?"
The prosecution objected,and the jury was sent out of the courtroom.
6:15 p.m. ET:

Gough asked, "You wouldn't describe the statements and behavior on March 22 as bizarre?"

"My behavior was according to what happened," said West.

Gough pointed out that police searched her purse in the middle of the interview looking for weapons. He also asked West why they switched out her chair in the middle of the interview.

"Yes, I urinated from the IV," said West.

Gough, "Did you have some kind of psychotic episode?"

"No," said West as she began to cry.

6:03 p.m. ET: Gough played a video of detectives interviewing West in her apartment.

On the video detectives have her look at a photo lineup.

"I think it was him. I need to look again, just to make sure. I'm pretty sure," said West.

5:30 p.m. ET: 

Defense attorney Gough asked, "You also were the recipient of food stamps?
"Yes," said West.
Gough asked, "Was it fair to say that wasn't enough to cover living expenses?"
"No, it was fine," said West.
Gough said, "Louis was unable to pay child support. Quoting you, 'Louis Santiago can't afford to buy a pair of shoes.'"
"I don't recall saying that," said West.
4:29 p.m. ET: Gough is grilling West about the life insurance policy she took out on her babies life. He pointed out that the police increased in value as the child aged, and accused West of not knowing how the police worked. 

"No, I knew," said West.

Gough said West called the live insurance policy the day after her baby was shot, as soon as they opened.

4:23 p.m. ET: 

Gough played the surveillance video from the post office for the jury again. The video shows West stopped a block outside post office.

Gough asked, "What were you doing? Were you on the phone? Your hand is moving in and out of your pocket. Were you talking to Louis Santiago?"
"I don't remember. I'm in a lot of pain when I walk. I have spine damage,"said West.
Gough asked, "Then why didn't you let Louis go to post office?"
"Exercise. I don't get out much," said West.

4:15 p.m. ET: 

Gough asked, "Today you testified you went to the post office to get stamps?

"I believe I needed stamps," said West.

Gough asked, "That's the first time you've ever mentioned stamps. Wasn't there another way to get them rather than taking your baby out in the cold?"

"No," said West. 

4:03 p.m. ET: Gough pointed out that multiple witnesses said they did not see any black males around West at the time of the shooting.

"It's because they ran away," replied West.

3:50 p.m. ET: Defense attorney Gough continues to try to pick holes in West's story about how he baby was killed.

Gough asked, "I notice you're not wearing glasses, but you do wear corrective lenses.:

"Yes," said West.

Gough asked, "The cornea in one of your eyes was injured?"

"Permanent scar on my left cornea," said West.

3:34 p.m. ET: 

Gough asked, "Do you suffer from mental illness of any kind?"

"Yes," said West. 

Gough asked, "Bipolar, PTSD, borderline personality disorder, paranoia"

"Yes," said West.

Gough asked, "Schizophrenia?

"No," said West.

Gough asked, "Family members with schizophrenia?"

"No," said West.

3:16 p.m. ET: 

Defense attorney Kevin Gough asked, "Is it possible you may be mistaken identified Elkins as the shooter?"
"No Elkins was standing two feet in front of me," said West. "I remember Mr. Elkins pointing a gun in my face"
3:02 p.m. ET: The jury is seated, and the cross examination of West is about to begin.

2:54 p.m. ET: The parties are coming back into the courtroom.

2:45 p.m .ET: 

Ekonomou asked, "Do you see in this courtroom today the man who shot and killed your baby?"

West broke down in tears as she identified Elkins in the courtroom. Court is now in recess.

2:43 p.m. ET: 

Ekonomou asked, "When Antonio was born did you take out a life insurance policy? When?

"Feb 2012," said West.

Ekonomou asked, "Where did the idea come from?"

"The hospital," said West.

Ekonomou asked, "Had anyone else ever done this?"

"My grandmother," said West

Ekonomou asked, ""Gerber Life Insurance" Total amount?

"$5,000," said West.

Ekonomou asked, "After he died did you ask them to pay you?"

"Yes, for funeral expenses," said West.  

Ekonomou asked, "How much was used for his funeral?:

"$2000. I used the rest to move."

Ekonomou asked, "Did you get victim witness assistance from Brunswick?"

"I declined it," said West.

2:32 p.m. ET: 

Prosecutor Ekonomou asked, "Why did you go back to the scene?"
"Re-enactment. Show them what happened. I was assisted by detective because I had trouble walking," said West.
Ekonomou asked, "When you were walking down the street and this incident occurred, what was the baby doing?"
"He was asleep," said West.
Some of the jurors have their hands over their mouths or are shielding their eyes during as West tells the story of how her baby was killed.

Investigators filmed West's re-enactment of the attack on March 21. She can be seen limping as she pushes the stroller. She has muscle and nerve damage from bullet that hit her leg.
2:24 p.m. ET: 

West said she approached by two teenagers on March 21 as she walked back home from the grocery store with her baby in tow.

"The big one approached me and demanded me to give him money. I told him I didn't have any," said West.
"He repeated it. He said, give me your money," said West.
Prosecutor Ekonomou asked, "Which one was talking?
"The tall one.  He demanded my purse. It was a black canvas shoulder bag," said West.
"I told him I have a baby and i have expenses and I didn't have it. He asked me if I wanted him to shoot my baby. I told him please don't shoot my baby. He shot a warning shot into the ground. Then he pointed it at me and tried to shoot me in the head and I ducked. I asked him why are you doing this, please don't do this. If felt like - he shot me in the ear. Then he shot me in the leg. My left leg. He walked over and shot my baby," said West trying to choke back tears.
Ekonomou asked, "Did you see him shoot your baby?"
"I tried to stop him. I put my arms over my baby but he still shot him," said West as she cried.
Ekonomou said, "Describe the young man."
"A red sweatshirt, dark pants. Silver chain - thick and silver. He was black. He had full lips and thick eyebrows. Other one had on a black shirt. Didn't get a good look at his face," said West.
Ekonomou asked, "Then what did they do?
"He still tried to grab my purse and hit me on the side of my head with the gun. I screamed twice, please help me, someone's shot my baby. They ran down London street," said West.
Ekonomou asked, "Where did you go?"
"I could barely walk, but I held onto the fence and tried to wheel my baby into a yard to save me to perform CPR until police go there. A policeman approached me and identified himself and took over CPR for me," said West. 
Ekonomou asked, "Where did the baby go?"
"He was rushed to the ambulance," said West."I was transported to the same hospital. It seemed like I was there forever - it was a few hours"
Ekonomou asked, "Where was your baby?"
"In another room. I kept asking - no one would tell me. It seemed like forever," said West.
Ekonomou asked, "The baby did not survive?"
"No," said West.

2:03 p.m. ET: 

Ekonomou asked, "What did you do when you got to the post office?
"I locked the stroller and went inside to mail the letter," said West
Ekonomou asked, "How long did it take you?
"Less than an hour," said West.
Ekonomou asked, "What time was it?"
"Between 8:30 and 9:00," said West.
Ekonomou asked, "Where were you going?"
"Back home."
West is breathing heavily on stand, drinking water, and the jury is taking lots of notes.
The prosecution begins showing pictures of baby Antonio alive to the jury. The photos are from Christmas and his first and only birthday. West looks at the photos and begins to cry. She eventually turns away from the photos.  

1:55 p.m. ET: West has platinum blond hair, and she is wearing bright lipstick, and a sweater. She looks sad but composed.

Prosecutor Andy Ekonomou asked, "Are you the mother of Antonio Angel Santiago?:
"Yes," replied West.

1:50 p.m. ET: Garrett has been excused, and West is taking the stand.

1:43 p.m. ET: Garrett was dispatched to the shooting at the church on March 11 at 7:11 p.m. ET. He searched the scene for evidence and shell casings. He was also dispatched to the baby Santiago's shooting on March 21. When he arrived at the hospital the baby's parents were there.

1:29 p.m. ET: Prosecutors call Richard Garrett, a detective with the Brunswick Police Department, to the stand.

1:27 p.m. ET: The jury is being seated.

1:12 p.m. ET: Parties are arriving in the courtroom, and prosecutors just rolled a baby stroller was into the courtroom.

11:57 a.m. ET: The next witness is a minor who claims to have been with Elkins the day he shot the pastor.

The minor said he was walking to the store with Elkins and another boy to get some Gatorade. The three boys cut thru an alley and saw two Mexican men working on a church, fixing something. On the way back from the store, Elkins pushed a gun into one of the men's faces and said, "Give it up."

The man waved the gun away. He saw Elkins shoot the man and run away. Elkins told the boys if they said anything "'something would happen to them.'"

Cour is in recess for lunch until 1:05 p.m. ET. 
11:19 a.m. ET: Court is back in session.
Defense attorney Wood cross examined Flores about his memory of the teenager who shot him.
Flores says he is sure Elkins shot him days before he allegedly shot baby Santiago.
"I have it very clear in my heart and in my mind that he was pointing a gun at me like this," said Flores
Wood asked, "You do remember telling Detective Galdamez he was wearing a green shirt."
"There were three of them. I couldn't really focus my mind on memorizing their shirts. I was focused on the danger," said Flores. 

Flores was excused, and the judge is now taking another quick recess.
10:18 a.m. ET: Prosecutor Johnson called Wilfredo Calix-Flores, the pastor who was shot days before baby Santiago was killed, to the stand.

"He started threatening me. He told me to give him my cell phone. I stayed quiet, kind of in shock. Then he came towards me and told me I needed to give him my wallet. My companion answered him, because I was in shock and told him I had no money," said Flores.

Flores ​stood up and demonstrated how he says Elkins shot him, "When he told me to give him the wallet I turned to my right and he shot me right here (in the arm). That's when I said, Clever, he hit me, he got me."

"I just went over to the church and got on my knees and I prayed," said Flores as the prosecutor showed the jury photos of his blood on the floor of the church.

HLN's producer in the courtroom says the jury seemed riveted by Flores testimony, because is a charismatic witness.

9:56 a.m. ET: Prosecutors have finished their direct examination of Jimenez. Court is now in recess.

During her cross examination, defense attorney Ashley Wood grilled the construction worker about how he identified Elkins in a photo lineup during the police investigation into the death of the baby.

Wood asked, "You did a photo lineup on March 22?"
"Yes," said Jimenez.
Wood asked, "The day after the baby was shot?
"I don't know exactly when the baby was shot," said Jimenez.
Wood asked, "You were stuck between two photos, right? You told Detective Galdamez you didn't know which one to choose."
"Yes," said Jimenez.
"That's because one of the boys from the shooting was wearing earrings and photo #5 was wearing earrings," said Jimenez.
Wood asked, "You told the detective, 'you know the blacks, they all look the same.'"
"Yes, but they have different features. Yes, well, I did say that," said Jimenez.

9:21 a.m. ET: The jury is seated, and Paul Williamson has been sworn in as the state-certified Spanish interpreter.

Prosecutor Johnson called Clever Jimenez called to stand.
Jimenez works in construction and has lived in Brunswick for 11 years.
On March 11, Jimenez said, he was laying concrete around back of the church in Brunswick, Georgia, when three teens approached him around 6:30 in the evening.
"Three young men asked if I had water," said Jimenez. "I said no." 
Johnson asked: "Do you remember the ages of the men?" 
"They looked really young, but I couldn't say," said Jimenez.
Johnson asked, "Do you remember the race." 
"They were black," said Jimenez.
Johnson asked, "Did they say anything?"
Johnson asked, "The boys left, but came back 15 minutes later."
"One of them came close and pulled out a pistol. The gun was a revolver, brownish, it looked old," said Jimenez.
Johnson asked, "What happened after he pulled out the gun?"
"He fired at both of us and asked for money and cell phones - the pastor and myself," said Jimenez.
Johnson asked, "Did you give them anything?"
"I didn't have anything," said Jimenez.
Johnson asked, "What about Pastor Flores?"
"He moved a little bit and he shot him in the arm," said Jimenez. 
Jimenez picked Elkins out of six-picture photo line up during the police investigation, and identified the shooter in the courtroom as Elkins.

8:50 a.m. ET: The judge is on the bench, and the jury is not present. 

Three of today's witnesses will be using a Spanish interpreter. The defense is putting the court on notice that it intends to question them regarding their immigration status. The court will allow this.
Prosecutors wants assurance that the defense will not make a grand gesture calling for the immediate arrest of any of the individuals.

8:30 a.m. ET: The parties are arriving in the courtroom.


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