2nd teen suspect testifies against Elkins

Published On: Dec 24 2013 03:54:50 AM EST
Updated On: Aug 23 2013 12:15:43 AM EDT

He's supposed to be one of the state's star witnesses, and the defense desperately wanted to keep the jury from hearing his testimony, but today in the De'Marquise Elkins trial - the second teenager charged in the case took the stand.

MARIETTA, Ga. -

One of the two teens charged with murder in the death of a 13-month-old Brunswick toddler was back on the stand Thursday, but as a witness.

This time, 15-year-old Dominique Lang testified in front of the jury.

Lang was questioned Wednesday, but only before the judge, telling what he knows about the teen on trial of De’Marquise Elkins (pictured, below), 18, who’s accused of pulling the trigger and killing Antonio Santiago.

Lang has admitted to that, but he’s also admitted to giving different versions of what happened that day.

During his testimony Thursday, the state had Lang describe what led up to the shooting and then what happened afterward. It seemed from Lang's testimony that he did not know Elkins, and that they met randomly at the Glynn Villa Apartments.

Lang told the jury he was listening to his iPod at the time.

"He asked me do I know you?" Lang said. "I said you probably know my daddy people."

After they met, Lang said he started walking toward his uncle's home, but then ran into Elkins again on a nearby street.

"He asked me had I ever robbed somebody before?" Lang said. He said he told him no and they kept walking.

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Lang said Elkins asked him if he was Mexican.

"I faked laughed," Lang said. "He showed me he had a gun on his waist."

"He said, 'I thought you were Mexican. I was going to rob you,'" Lang said.

Lang then went on to describe how they walked toward London and Ellis streets and spotted Sherry West, Antonio's mother, and the baby.

"He walked up to her and asked her a question," Lang said.

"What did he ask her?" attorney Liberty Stewart asked.

"Give me your purse?" Lang said.

Lang said when West resisted, Elkins pulled out a gun and slapped her with it.

"And then he threatened the baby," Lang said. "He started counting down, like five, four, three. Then she stopped him."

Lang said Elkins shot at the ground, then shot West in the leg.

"Was there a third shot?" Stewart asked.

"Yes, ma'am," Lang said.

"Did you see where the gun was pointing for the third shot?" Stewart asked.

"I don't know if it was at the baby or Sherry," Lang said.

The defense pointed out during cross-examination that Lang told several lies to police during the investigation. So far, Lang has admitted to 16 lies to police.

"You do remember when you first started talking to them that you said I didn't see any shots get fired?" a defense attorney asked.

"Yes sir," Lang said.

"You would agree that that's the first lie you told them?" the attorney asked.

"Yes sir," Lang said.

Over the course of several hours, the defense managed to get Lang to admit he lied numerous times to police, from whether or not he saw the gun, to how many shots were fired, to the exact location of the crime scene.

The day started with testimony from Joe Lang, Dominique's cousin. Joe is 15 year old, homeless and his mother is in prison for murder. He testified that he left a housing project the morning of the shooting to go to the home of he and Dominique's great grandmother.

Joe Lang admitted that he walked close to the crime scene to get there. He admitted he had on a red shirt.

Elkins was described as wearing a red shirt the day of the shooting, and the defense tried to connect Joe Lang to the shooting. They also tried to point out that detectives failed to investigate him and his whereabouts that day.

It became apparent in court Thursday that Dominique Lang and Elkins did not know each other. And the defense tried to create the idea that it would have been more realistic for Lang to have met up with his cousin versus a stranger.

On Wednesday, while being questioned by the defense, Dominique Lang said being in jail since March has hurt his memory.

While the jury was out to lunch Wednesday, the judge in Elkin’s murder trial allowed the defense and the state to interview his co-defendant, Lang.

Lang described the red shirt and dark hat Elkins had on that day. He also recounted what happened after he and Elkins spotted West walking with her baby.

“He kept asking for her purse and she kept refusing,” said Lang.

After Sherry West refused, Lang said that Elkins reached in his pocked for his gun.

“He slapped her with the gun,” Lang said. "He threatened the baby. He went around the stroller. She came around the other side, and he shot.”

The judge also allowed the defense to play a taped police interview with Lang.

“You gotta let my auntie come down here because she seen him more. I was just thinking about that baby. That's all I was thinking about. I swear that kind of looks like him sir,” said Lang in the taped interview.

The taped interview is why Elkins’ defense said the jury should never hear Lang’s testimony, saying it’s clear he can’t even identify Elkins as the person who shot and killed Antonio.

But the judge threw out the motion to keep the jury from hearing what Lang has to say.

It’s been a family affair for Lang’s family. His aunt also testified Wednesday about seeing Elkins at Lang’s grandmother’s house and then taking him for a ride.

Lang’s cousin, Joe, also testified Wednesday about seeing Elkins at the house, too. But he didn’t finish his testimony because the judge decided to adjourn.

Lang’s trial date has not been set.

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