Friday, March 29, 2013

The investigation into the shooting of a baby in Brunswick, Georgia - a crime that's grabbed national headlines - has taken yet another turn with the arrest of a local black politician

The arrest stemmed from a verbal exchange between Brunswick City Commissioner James Henry Brooks and the family of one of the black teen suspects in the slaying during the suspects' first court appearance. According to his attorney, Brooks told the family of De'Marquise Elkins, 17, that they didn't have to talk to police. Brooks is a distant relative of the Elkins family, his wife, Alicia Brooks, said. She did not know exactly how they are related. The 59-year-old commissioner was charged with influencing a witness and obstructing law enforcement in an investigation, the Glynn County Sheriff's Office said. Brooks was arrested, posted $5,000 bond and left jail. Under the terms of his bond, Brooks is not allowed to have any contact with the victims, witnesses, potential witnesses or investigators involved in the investigation of the murder of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago, who was killed March 21, 2013. The child's mother, Sherry West, has said that two black teenagers came up to 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 black teen, she said, then shot her baby in the face. Elkins and Dominique Lang, 15, have been charged with murder. Elkins' mother, aunt and sister have also been arrested on various charges alleging that they have hindered the investigation. The sister, 19-year-old Sabrina Elkins, was arrested on an evidence tampering charge, the Glynn County Sheriff's Office said. She was named in a grand jury indictment accusing her of helping her mother get rid of the gun that authorities say was used to kill the child. The grand jury also indicted Elkins' mother, Karimah Aisha Elkins, 36, and aunt, Katrina Latrelle Elkins, 33, on charges of making false statements or writings, among other things. Elkin's mother, Karimah Aisha, and his sister, Sabrina, were ordered held without bond, according to Ron Corbett, the Glynn County's undersheriff. The same grand jury that indicted the women also named De'Marquise Elkins and Lang as being involved in the shooting, prosecutors said. Elkins is accused of malice and felony murder, along with other charges. Lang is accused of felony murder. Although Lang is a minor, he is being charged as an adult. Investigators are looking into the possibility of a gang tie to the shooting.

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