Just imagine preparing yourself and your young baby to take a stroll on a beautiful spring day. You gather your belongings, ready your baby for the outing, place him in the stroller and you’re on your way. Feelings of doom, dread or foreboding never enter your mind…until you’re accosted by two thugs brandishing a gun and demanding money. At that instant you somehow know, that your life will be changed forever.
That’s what happened to Sherry West as she strolled with her 13-month old baby, Antonio Santiago at around 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 21, 2013. West and her young son were on their way home from the post office in Brunswick, GA, when 18-year-old DeMarquise Elkins and his 15-year-old accomplice Dominique Lane, approached Ms. West demanding money. Even though Ms. West repeatedly told them that she didn’t have any money. Elkins didn’t care.
In her interview with NewsOne, West stated that Ellis’ words were, “I’m gonna kill you if you don’t give me your money,” and I said, ‘I swear, I don’t have any,’ “West said. “I put my arms over my baby and he shoves me and he shot my baby right in the head.”
Reading this story made me externally cry out in horror, while internally it gave me a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach. Because this unconscionable crime is beyond sad, and should be heart-wrenching for all who read the story. If you haven’t, I’ve attached a link. The taking of anyone’s life is reprehensible…but cold bloodedly killing a young, innocent toddler is worthy of a special punishment, and is more than any parent should have to bear.
Although DeMarquis Elkins was apprehended by police, and charged with the murder, if it were up to his mother, Karimah Elkins, 36 and his aunt, Katrina Elkins, 33, he would still be free. Both women were arrested and booked on charges of giving false statements to the police regarding the whereabouts of DeMarquise Elkins at the time of the shooting. After being arrested, and faced with the possibility of doing jail time, the women recanted their stories and provided the police with accurate information.
According to Glynn County police Chief Matt Doering, the new information helped investigators locate the handgun that was allegedly used to end the life of little 13-month-old Antonio Santiago. We all know that the blatant disregard for human life has reached staggering proportions, and it’s frightening!
In times past, if we heard horrific stories of murder and mayhem, they’d linger on our minds and in our hearts, for days, weeks, months, years. Now, it seems as if ‘shocking’ is the new norm. Remember the old adage, “save the women and children first.” The new adage is “f##!!kk the children and if the women say something shoot them too.” In my article, ‘When Innocence Is Lost’ (click link below for the article), I share the alarming rate, at which our children are murdered and assaulted by those who should love and protect them. It’s very disturbing that their young lives are as dispensable as handy wipes.
For 18 year old DeMarquis Elkins and 15 year old Dominique Lane, the loss of life meant nothing. The taking of life meant nothing. The pain of a mother meant nothing. But their greed for money meant everything. But even more disheartening is that DeMarquis’ family attempted to provide a fictitious alibi for an alleged murderer.
Although it’s not reported exactly what the initial statements to police entailed, both women were given an opportunity to recant their bogus statements and ‘right-their-falsities to police. It’s amazing to see how far family members will go, in order to keep their (even guilty) loved ones out of jail.
Following their admission of truth concerning DeMarquis’ whereabouts, at least one of the women were able to lead police to a pond where the alleged murder weapon was found. Police are still waiting for test results on the gun.
When McKinley Elkins, the great grandfather of DeMarquis, spoke on his grandson’s behalf at the bail hearing, the elder Elkins said, “I truly believe, deep down in my heart, that he will be a gentleman from this day forward. I will see personally that he will be here.” But when asked if he knew if the teen had any tattoos, he replied “No.” What high school he went to? “No” again. Where he lives? Double “No.” BAIL DENIED!
Mayor Bryan Thompson of the city of Brunswick, commented on the situation “This is obviously just a terrible day in the city of Brunswick, and made even more terrible by the senseless killing of a young child. And it appears perpetrated by children themselves.”
Written by DeBorahHeggs-Alston