Defense files 2 motions targeting slain toddler's parents

Published On: Apr 09 2013 04:45:10 PM EDT
Updated On: Dec 11 2013 05:59:58 PM EST

The day before one of the teens charged with killing a Brunswick toddler goes to court to ask for bond, Channel 4 obtains two new motions filed by the defense. The motions target the parents of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago, who was killed two weeks ago. One suggests his mother's history of mental illness makes her an unreliable witness. The other asks for information about the toddler's father and any connection he may have to a prior shooting in which the teen suspect is charged.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. -

The day before the teen accused of killing a 1-year-old child will go before a judge to ask for bond, Channel 4 has obtained two new motions filed by the defense.

They target the parents of the slain toddler, Antonio Santiago.

One motion suggests Santiago's mother Sherry West's history of mental illness makes her an unreliable witness against 17-year-old De'Marquise Elkins (pictured, below), one of two teens charged with murder in the boy's shooting death.

DOCUMENT: Motion for discovery

The other motion asks for information on any deals made with Louis Santiago, the boy's father, and disclosure of any known associates and connection between Santiago and Wilfredo Calix-Flores, a victim in a prior shooting in which Elkins is now charged.

The defense says Santiago is or was an informant for an unnamed law enforcement agency. Attorneys also say Santiago has a history of domestic abuse and point to a 2002 arrest in Camden County.

All this comes as the community was coming together Thursday night for a town hall meeting to address issues and concerns about the investigation.

At Chef Joel and Company, the case has been a topic of discussion. That's why owner Joel Colon is looking forward to what comes from the town hall meeting and getting answers to serious questions.

"What are we doing to prevent a future situation like that happening?" Colon said. "Where did this young man get a gun? Why was a young man at that age hanging around at 10 o'clock in the morning, not in school, not in a program, with a gun?"

Elkins' attorney, Public Defender Kevin Gough, wouldn't answer those questions Thursday, but did discuss his client's bond hearing Friday.

"Mr. Elkins is looking forward to his day in court and to be released on bond to return to his family," Gough said.

Gough has high hopes as his client heads into his bond hearing. He sees it not only as a chance for the teen to be granted bond, but also a chance to potentially present evidence.

"Given the refusal of the state to allow Mr. Elkins to have a preliminary hearing, we hope to have some opportunity tomorrow to test the strength of the state's case," Gough said.

While the town hall meeting won't answer every question, many in Brunswick say it's long overdue.

"I think it should have been done a long time ago," one resident said. "I think it should be a monthly or quarterly program."

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