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An attempted robbery turned into the murder of a baby when De’Marquise Elkins shot him in the face and killed him six weeks after his first birthday.
Sherry West was walking from the post office back to her apartment on the Georgia coast with her son Antonio Santiago in his stroller when Elkins approached them demanding cash. When West said she did not have any, he killed Antonio.
"He kept asking, and I just said 'I don't have it,'" said West, Associated Press reports. "And he said, 'Do you want me to kill your baby?' And I said, 'No, don't kill my baby!'"
West was shot in the leg and tried to perform CPR on her baby while neighbors phoned police.
Elkins will stand trial next week, jury selection beginning on Monday. The trial was moved to a courthouse in the suburbs outside of Atlanta due to heavy publicity and media attention on the case.
If he is convicted with murder, he will face life in prison. Since Elkins was 17 at the time of the crime, he is not eligible to receive the death penalty in the state of Georgia.
According to the Augusta Chronicle, 15-year-old Dominique Lang was with Elkins during the shooting. He is also being charged with murder, although he says Elkins had the gun. He will be tried on a later date.
Defense attorneys are arguing that West is mentally ill and is actually the one who killed her baby, but made up the story against Elkins as a cover-up.