MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — Jury selection began Monday in the trial of a Georgia teenager charged with fatally shooting a 13-month-old baby in the face during an attempted street robbery.
A judge moved the trial of De'Marquise Elkins, 18, to the suburbs north of Atlanta, more than 325 miles from the crime scene where young Antonio Santiago was slain March 21 in the port city of Brunswick. Prosecutors say Elkins and a 15-year-old accomplice were trying to rob the child's mother and that Elkins shot the toddler when she said she had no money.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys began questioning potential jurors Monday at the Cobb County courthouse. They are set to resume jury selection Tuesday morning.
Elkins faces life in prison if convicted of murder. His youth spared him a possible death sentence. At the time of the shooting he was 17, too young to face capital charges in Georgia.
Investigators concluded that Antonio was killed during an attempted street robbery as his mother, Sherry West, was strolling home with the child from the post office. West said a gunman demanding cash shot her baby in the face after she told him she had no money.
"He kept asking, and I just said 'I don't have it,'" West told The Associated Press the day after the slaying. "And he said, 'Do you want me to kill your baby?' And I said, 'No, don't kill my baby!'"