Defense attorney in Ga. baby shooting case speaks out
By Melissa Gray
ATLANTA (CNN) — The defense attorney for one of two teenagers charged with fatally shooting a Georgia baby in the face spoke Wednesday about evidence in the case, saying speculation about the crime and evidence is complicating preparations for next month’s trial.
Public defender Kevin Gough, who represents De’Marquise “Marky” Elkins, said media reports have focused on “evidence selectively disclosed by the police.”
The investigation and prosecution have been “heavy-handed,” he said, and “the state chooses to ignore obvious leads that are inconsistent with the state’s theory of the case.”
Gough said he issued his four-page statement because of an overwhelming number of media inquiries, and he said it would be his last before the trial in three weeks.
Elkins and another teenager, Dominique Lang, have been charged with murder in the March 21 killing of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago. They were 17 and 14 at the time, respectively.
The case has drawn national attention for the horrific nature of the child’s death.
The child’s mother, Sherry West, has said two teenagers approached her in the street in broad daylight. One pointed a gun at her and told her that if she didn’t give him her money he would shoot her and shoot her baby.
West said that the teen fired at her, hitting her in one leg and barely missing her head. The teen then shot her child in the face, she said.
Gough said the case against his client is best described as circumstantial.
“Contrary to speculation by some, there is no evidence of gunshot residue on Marky Elkins or upon his clothing. There is no murder weapon. There is no confession,” he said in his statement.
He said defense theories are evolving as the evidence develops, and he predicted further developments in the coming weeks.
“Much of what has been said about Mr. Elkins has been unkind, and much of that discussion has been based on false assumptions and misinformation,” he said.
Asked about Gough’s statement on the gunshot residue, Mark Spaulding, a spokesman for the Glynn County district attorney’s office, said, “We don’t have a comment on the record.”
Elkins’ mother, aunt and sister have also been arrested on various charges alleging that they have hindered the investigation.
The sister, Sabrina Elkins, was named in a grand jury indictment accusing her of helping her mother get rid of the gun authorities say was used to kill the child. Police found that gun in a pond more than two miles from where the shooting happened.
Gough said more witnesses should not be afraid to come forward.
CNN’s Nick Valencia contributed to this report.
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